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Structure and Degeneracy of Vortex Lattice Domains in Pure Superconducting Niobium: A Small-Angle Neutron Scattering Study

Published

Author(s)

Mark Laver, E M. Forgan, C Bowell, C D. Dewhurst, S Ramos, A B. Abrahamsen, D. K. Christen, D Fort, S Muhlbauer, J Kohlbrecher, R Cubitt

Abstract

High-purity niobium exhibits a surprisingly rich assortment of vortex lattice (VL) structures for fields applied parallel to a fourfold symmetry axis, with all observed VL phases made up of degenerate domains that spontaneously break some crystal symmetry. Yet a single regular hexagonal VL domain is observed at all temperatures and fields parallel to a threefold symmetry axis. We report a detailed investigation of the transition between these lush and barren VL landscapes, discovering new VL structures and phase transitions at high fields. We show that the number and relative population of VL domains is intrinsically tied to the underlying crystal symmetry. We discuss how subtle anisotropies of the crystal may generate the remarkable VLs observed.
Citation
Physical Review B
Volume
79
Issue
1

Keywords

superconductivity, vortex lattice, niobium

Citation

Laver, M. , Forgan, E. , Bowell, C. , Dewhurst, C. , Ramos, S. , Abrahamsen, A. , Christen, D. , Fort, D. , Muhlbauer, S. , Kohlbrecher, J. and Cubitt, R. (2009), Structure and Degeneracy of Vortex Lattice Domains in Pure Superconducting Niobium: A Small-Angle Neutron Scattering Study, Physical Review B, [online], https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.79.014518, https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=610079 (Accessed April 19, 2024)
Created January 27, 2009, Updated March 22, 2024