We present investigations of the superconductor-to-insulator transition (SIT) of uniform a-Bi films using a technique sensitive to Cooper pair phase coherence. The films are perforated with a nanohoneycomb array of holes to form a multiply connected geometry and subjected to a perpendicular magnetic field. Film magnetoresistances on the superconducting side of the SIT oscillate with a period dictated by the superconducting flux quantum and the areal hole density. The oscillations disappear close to the SIT critical point to leave a monotonically rising magnetoresistance that persists in the insulating phase. These observations indicate that the Cooper pair phase coherence length, which is infinite in the superconducting phase, collapses to a value less than the interhole spacing at this SIT. This behavior is inconsistent with the gradual reduction of the phase coherence length expected for a bosonic phase-fluctuation-driven SIT. This result starkly contrasts with previous observations of oscillations persisting in the insulating phase of other films implying that there must be at least two distinct classes of disorder-tuned SITs.
Physical Review B
American Physical Society
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
S. M. Hollen, G. E. Fernandes, J. M. Xu, and J. M. Valles, ‘Collapse of the Cooper pair phase coherence length at a superconductor-to-insulator transition’, Physical Review B, vol. 87, no. 5, Feb. 2013.
© 2013 American Physical Society