Percolating transport in superconducting nanoparticle films
© 2017 Author(s). Nanostructured and disordered superconductors exhibit many exotic fundamental phenomena, and also have many possible applications. We show here that films of superconducting lead nanoparticles with a wide range of particle coverages, exhibit non-linear V(I) characteristics that are consistent with percolation theory. Specifically, it is found that V (I-Ic)a, where a = 2.1 ± 0.2, independent of both temperature and particle coverage, and that the measured critical currents (I c ) are also consistent with percolation models. For samples with low normal state resistances, this behaviour is observable only in pulsed current measurements, which suppress heating effects. We show that the present results are not explained by vortex unbinding [Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless] physics, which is expected in such samples, but which gives rise to a different power law behaviour. Finally, we compare our results to previous calculations and simulations, and conclude that further theoretical developments are required to explain the high level of consistency in the measured exponents a.