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Structural Evidence for an Edge-Contaminated Vortex Phase in a Nb Crystal using Neutron Diffrraction



Helen A. Hanson, X. Wang, I. K. Dimitrov, J. Shi, X. S. Ling, Brian B. Maranville, Charles Majkrzak, M. Laver, U. Keiderling, M. Russina


We report the structural observation of a disordered vortex matter phase existing near the edge of a bulk type-II superconductor Nb using a novel position-sensitive neutron diffraction technique. This "edge-contaminated" vortex state was implicated in previous studies using transport techniques and magneto-optics and is postulated to play a significant role in the behavior of vortex dynamics in a wide range of type-II superconductors. In this sample, thermal annealing causes the vortex matter in the interior to re-order implying that the edge-contaminated bulk state is metastable. However, the edge vortex structure remains disordered after repeated thermal annealing indicating spatial coexistence of a vortex glass with a Bragg glass. This observation resolves outstanding issues concerning the peak effect in type-II superconductors.
Physical Review B


Hanson, H. , Wang, X. , Dimitrov, I. , Shi, J. , Ling, X. , Maranville, B. , Majkrzak, C. , Laver, M. , Keiderling, U. and Russina, M. (2011), Structural Evidence for an Edge-Contaminated Vortex Phase in a Nb Crystal using Neutron Diffrraction, Physical Review B, [online], (Accessed May 18, 2024)


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Created July 19, 2011, Updated October 12, 2021