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*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-336
Number of pages8
JournalNature Materials
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012

Funding

FundersFunder number
HIPERCHEM
Instituto Nanociencia Aragón
NESPA
NanoAraCat
Office of Basic Energy Sciences
US Air ForceFA 8655-10-1-3011
US Department of Energy
Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering
European Commission
European Research Council
Generalitat de Catalunya2009 SGR 770
Fondo Nacional de Ciencia Tecnología e InnovaciónCSD2007-00041, MAT2008-01022

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