Nanoscale strain-induced pair suppression as a vortex-pinning mechanism in high-temperature superconductors

A. Llordés, A. Palau, J. Gázquez, M. Coll, R. Vlad, A. Pomar, J. Arbiol, R. Guzmán, S. Ye, V. Rouco, F. Sandiumenge, S. Ricart, T. Puig, M. Varela, D. Chateigner, J. Vanacken, J. Gutiérrez, V. Moshchalkov, G. Deutscher, C. MagenX. Obradors

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    256 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Boosting large-scale superconductor applications require nanostructured conductors with artificial pinning centres immobilizing quantized vortices at high temperature and magnetic fields. Here we demonstrate a highly effective mechanism of artificial pinning centres in solution-derived high-temperature superconductor nanocomposites through generation of nanostrained regions where Cooper pair formation is suppressed. The nanostrained regions identified from transmission electron microscopy devise a very high concentration of partial dislocations associated with intergrowths generated between the randomly oriented nanodots and the epitaxial YBa2Cu3O7 matrix. Consequently, an outstanding vortex-pinning enhancement correlated to the nanostrain is demonstrated for four types of randomly oriented nanodot, and a unique evolution towards an isotropic vortex-pinning behaviour, even in the effective anisotropy, is achieved as the nanostrain turns isotropic. We suggest a new vortex-pinning mechanism based on the bond-contraction pairing model, where pair formation is quenched under tensile strain, forming new and effective core-pinning regions. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)329-336
    JournalNature Materials
    Volume11
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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