Europhys. Lett.
Volume 67, Number 2, July 2004
Page(s) 280 - 286
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 01 July 2004
Europhys. Lett., 67 (2) , pp. 280-286 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10067-y

Overdamped quantum phase diffusion and charging effects in Josephson junctions

J. Ankerhold

Physikalisches Institut, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg Hermann-Herder-Straße 3, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany

(Received 23 February 2004; accepted in final form 13 May 2004)

By exploiting the recently derived quantum Smoluchowski equation, the classical Ivanchenko-Zil'berman theory for overdamped diffusive phase motion of low-capacitance Josephson junctions is extended to the low-temperature quantum domain where charging effects appear. This formulation allows to derive explicit results for the current-voltage characteristics over a broad range of parameters that reduce to known findings in certain limits. In particular, the transparent analytical approach comprises Coulomb-blockade physics, coherent Cooper-pair transfer, and the precursors of macroscopic quantum tunneling and needs to be supplemented by more sophisticated methods only at very low temperatures.

74.50.+r - Tunneling phenomena; point contacts, weak links, Josephson effects.
05.40.-a - Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion.
73.23.-b - Electronic transport in mesoscopic systems.

© EDP Sciences 2004