Ninth International Superconductive Electronics Conference (ISEC 2003)
Nan Chen (Analyst, ATIP)
The field of superconductive electronics received a tremendous boost with the discovery of high-temperature superconductivity in 1987, but emerging applications quite often rely on low-temperature superconductors. The first ISEC was organized in 1987 in Tokyo and conferences have been held biannually since. Attendance at past conferences has reached as much as approximately 500. This year's attendance of 158 probably reflected general concerns over travel more than diminished interest in the field.
The program of ISEC 2003 featured relatively few oral presentations, many poster presentations, and "Hot Topics Session." Among the most exciting results that were presented were on quantum computing. The promised speed and efficiency of quantum computing are astounding, but technological challenges to construction of a working quantum computer are daunting. To date, superconducting approaches to quantum computing have probably made greater strides forward than have the competing technologies. Dr. Yu. Paskin of NEC in Japan presented some of his firm's latest results in this technology. Exciting results on quantum computing were also presented by scientists from the U.S. and from Europe.
Talks and posters at ISEC 2003 were presented in the flowing topics:
(1) Digital Devices and their Applications:
RSFQ, Logic Design, Memories, AD/DA Converters, Amplifiers, Samplers, Other Digital Circuits and Applications
(2) SQUIDs and their Applications:
Noise Problems, New Structures, Device Performance, Amplifiers, Bio-Applications, Nondestructive Evaluation, SQUID Microscopes, Environmental Applications, Other Applications
(3) Microwave Devices and Systems:
Passive Components, Tunable/Active Devices, Terahertz Devices, Communications Systems, Other Microwave Components and Systems
(4) Mixers and Detectors:
Bolometers, Tunnel Junctions, Josephson Junctions, Oscillators, Transition-Edge Sensors, Other Mixers and Detectors
(5) Instruments and Coolers:
Voltage Standards, Measurement Systems, Digital Circuit Testing Systems, Packages, Novel Coolers, Other Analog Instruments
(6) Junctions and Processing:
LTS & HTS Junction Fabrication Techniques, Novel Junctions, Ultra-Small Junctions, Device Processing
(7) Thin Films and Materials:
Large HTS Films, Novel Deposition Systems, Substrates and Buffers, Multilayers, Single Crystals for Electronic Applications, Novel Materials, Critical Current Density, Other Film Parameters
(8) Novel Devices and Device Physics:
Quantum Computing, Three-Terminal Devices, Flux-Flow, Vortex Dynamics, Pinning, Other Novel Devices and Physics
In each subject area, advances continue to be made. Cryocooler technology has improved substantially over the past several years, which has helped to improve the economics of use of superconductive electronics.