Large Quantum Fluctuations in Planar Josephson Junctions

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We investigate the stochastic phase dynamics of planar Josephson junctions (JJs) and superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) defined in epitaxial InAs/Al heterostructures. The interplay of large quantum fluctuations and phase diffusion results in an intriguing regime where the mean switching current of a JJ is a small fraction of the critical current and macroscopic quantum tunneling is the most relevant switching mechanism up to the critical temperature. Phase locking between two JJs further modifies the phase dynamics, resulting in a different switching current between that of a JJ measured in isolation and that of the same JJ measured in an asymmetric SQUID loop. The relative contribution of quantum tunneling and phase diffusion is further tuned by a magnetic flux in the SQUID loop.