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Microwave emission from superconducting vortices in Mo/Si superlattices

Authors: O.V. Dobrovolskiy, V.M. Bevz, M.Yu. Mikhailov, O.I. Yuzephovich, V.A. Shklovskij, R.V. Vovk, M.I. Tsindlekht, R. Sachser1 & M. Huth

Nature Communications (2018) 9:4927


Most of superconductors in a magnetic field are penetrated by a lattice of quantized flux vortices. In the presence of a transport current causing the vortices to cross sample edges, emission of electromagnetic waves is expected due to the continuity of tangential components of the fields at the surface. Yet, such a radiation has not been observed so far due to low radiated power levels and lacking coherence in the vortex motion. Here, we clearly evidence the emission of electromagnetic waves from vortices crossing the layers of a superconductor/insulator Mo/Si superlattice. The emission spectra consist of narrow harmonically related peaks which can be finely tuned in the GHz range by the dc bias current and, coarsely, by the in-plane magnetic field value. Our findings show that superconductor/ insulator superlattices can act as dc-tunable microwave generators bridging the frequency gap between conventional radiofrequency oscillators and (sub-)terahertz generators relying upon the Josephson effect.

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-07256-0

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