Superfast superconducting vortices
12 September 2017
A team of researchers, including Prof. Milošević and Ph.D student Ž. Jelić from the CMT group at UAntwerpen, reports the first direct microscopic imaging of superfast superconducting vortices (in: Physics Today).
Eli Zeldov (Weizmann Institute of Science) and colleagues report the first direct microscopic imaging of superfast superconducting vortices.
Crucial to the observations was a novel scanning probe: a nanoscale superconducting quantum interference device, or SQUID, residing on the apex of a sharp tip. That tool allowed the researchers to map, with single-vortex resolution, the vortex patterns in a Pb thin film designed with a 5.7-μm-wide constriction. From their observations, the researchers extracted vortex speeds approaching 20 km/s.
Minimal-model simulations corroborated the team’s suspicions that weak local heating dynamically aligns the vortices and that repulsive vortex interactions cause the channels to buckle and split. Moreover, the simulations performed at UAntwerpen predict that vortices could reach yet higher speeds, beyond the team’s experimental capabilities, and metamorphose into new forms, with exciting implications for superconducting electronics. (L. Embon et al., Nat. Commun. 8, 85, 2017.)
Read the full article in Physics Today