The development of a SQUID-based gradiometer

Muller, Benjamin John Frederick (2010-03)

Thesis (MScEng (Electrical and Electronic Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis presents an attempt at creating a fully functional SQUID for the purposes of a predefined application. The goal of the work is to provide a method of development, primarily utilising the facilities of the Engineering Faculty of the University of Stellenbosch, with minimal assistance from other departments. This method is then analysed and the successes and failures discussed in order to provide guidelines and recommendations for future research. The device consists of a gradiometric SQUID, as well as electronics which provide the SQUID bias current, output linearisation and output signal filtering. YBCO is used for the superconducting material, allowing the use of liquid nitrogen as coolant which eases the operation and portability of the device. Various methods of creating Josephson junctions are tested, such as constriction bridges using AFM lithography and step-edge junctions, with and without different buffer layers. Proof of concept simulations demonstrate the viability of the device. Unfortunately, a functional device could not be constructed, mostly due to the design requiring higher levels of resolution and process control than some of the available facilities can provide. Recommendations are provided for future researchers.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis beskryf ’n poging om ’n volledige funksionele SQUID te vervaardig vir die doeleindes van ’n vasgestelde toepassing. Die doel van die werk is om ’n metode te voorsien wat hoofsaaklik gebruik maak van die fasiliteite van die Ingenieurswese Fakulteit van die Universiteit van Stellenbosch, met minimale hulp van ander departemente. Hierdie metode word dan ondersoek en die suksesse en mislukkings bespreek om riglyne en voorstellings te voorsien vir toekomstige navorsing. Die toestel bestaan uit ’n gradiometriese SQUID, sowel as elektronika wat voorsiening maak vir voorspanning, uittree-linearisering en ’n uittree-filter. YBCO is as supergeleidende materiaal gebruik, wat die gebruik van vloeibare stikstof as verkoeler moontlik maak en dus die hantering en draagbaarheid van die toestel vergemaklik. Verskillende metodes om Josephson-vlakke te vervaardig is getoets, onder andere vernouingsbrugvlakke deur middel van AFM litografie en stapvlakke met en sonder bufferlae. Bewys van konsep simulasies demonstreer die lewensvatbaarheid van die toestel. Ongelukkig kon ’n funksionele weergawe van die toestel nie vervaardig word nie, hoofsaaklik as gevolg van die ontwerp wat hoër resolusievlakke en beter prosesbeheer benodig as wat sekere van die beskikbare fasiliteite kan voorsien. Aanbevelings word voorsien vir toekomstige navorsers.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/4378
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