Abstract. We present a method to measure the critical temperature of the island of a superconducting single electron transistor. The method is based on a sharp change in the slope of the zero-bias conductance as a function of temperature. We have used this method to determine the superconducting phase transition temperature of the Nb island of an superconducting single electron transistor with Al leads. We obtain T Nb c as high as 8.5 K and gap energies up to ∆Nb ≃ 1.45 meV. By looking at the zero bias conductance as a function of magnetic field instead of temperature, also the critical field of the island can be determined. Using the orthodox theory, we have performed extensive numerical simulations of charge transport properties in the SET at temperatures comparable to the gap, which match very well the data, therefore providing a solid theoretical basis for our method. PACS: 73.23.Hk,73.40.Gk,74.50.+r The single-electron transistor is a device with remarkable properties, which have been intensively studied over the last almost two decades . The first application of such structures have been in the area of electrometry , but recently new developments have promoted th
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