Journal article

Thermally Assisted Transition in Thin Film Based FCL: A Way to Speed Up the Normal Transition Across the Wafer

The adjunction of constrictions along the meander of a superconducting Fault Current Limiter (FCL) greatly improves its behavior thanks to a better distribution of the dissipative zones at the occurrence of a short circuit. This design works perfectly for symmetrical short circuit (i.e. short circuit at the maximum voltage). However for asymmetrical short circuits (at voltages close to 0), we are facing a problem due to the small number of the initially switched constrictions. To solve this problem, we test the possibility to speed up the transition into the normal state of the whole meander by heating it locally. This thermally assisted transition is realized by growing a gold layer on the backside of the substrate and by patterning it into a meander with its dissipative parts lying just underneath the constrictions of the FCL. This gold meander can be either connected in parallel with the superconducting meander or a capacitor bank can supply the current. In order to confirm the benefit of the thermally assisted transition we have carefully measured the behavior of the FCL during constant current and low voltage pulses as a function of the power injected into the gold line. We present results showing that the response of the FCL to the generated heat is very fast; typically less than 100 $mu{rm s}$. Furthermore the distribution of the dissipated power across the wafer, during asymmetrical AC short circuit, is clearly improved.


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