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For use as a tunneling barrier, a single-crystal semiconductor or insulator layer is epitaxially grown from the liquid phase on a superconducting base electrode.
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Superconducting Tunnel Device with LPE Grown Barrier
For use as a tunneling barrier, a single-crystal semiconductor or insulator
layer is epitaxially grown from the liquid phase on a superconducting base
The example shows a Nb(3)Sn - GaP - Nb(3)Sn tunneling structure. First, a
GaP substrate of  orientation is machined from a bulk single crystal with a
final chemical polishing step to remove the damaged surface layer. Alternatively,
a GaP layer is deposited on a suitable starting substrate like Si, A1(2)O(3)
, spinel, ZrO(2) or BeO. Then a first thick GaP layer or a multilayer of about
10 mu m is grown by LPI (liquid phase epitaxy) on the substrate to reduce the
dislocation density and to provide after the faceting transition an almost
atomically flat surface. Example of experimental data: 1 g GaP is dissolved in 10
g Ga at 1100 degrees C, it is saturated with the substrate, and then undercooled 0.1 to 5 degrees C. The cooling rate may be 0.5 to 5 degrees per hour. The
total g time typically is 10 to 60 minutes.
The base electrode Nb(3)Sn layer of the tunnel device is grown
by LPE heteroepitaxy on the flat GaP surface. A larger thickness of
at least 1 mu m may be necessary to accommodate the lattice mismatch.
Experimental data: 46 mg Nb is dissolved in 12 g Sn at 1100 degrees C. It is saturated with polycrystalline dense Nb(3)Sn or with Nb.
Supersaturation is adjusted to 0.1 to 5 degrees C. Slow cooling
follows for 1 to 20 minutes.