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Title: Vortex creep at very low temperatures in single crystals of the extreme type-II Rh 9In 4S 4

Here, we image vortex creep at very low temperatures using scanning tunneling microscopy in the superconductor Rh 9In 4S 4 (T c = 2.25 K). We measure the superconducting gap of Rh 9In 4S 4, finding Δ ≈ 0.33 meV, and image a hexagonal vortex lattice up to close to H c2 observing slow vortex creep at temperatures as low as 150 mK. We estimate thermal and quantum barriers for vortex motion and show that thermal fluctuations likely cause vortex creep, in spite of being at temperatures T/T c < 0.1. We study creeping vortex lattices by making images during long times and show that the vortex lattice remains hexagonal during creep with vortices moving along one of the high-symmetry axes of the vortex lattice. Furthermore, the creep velocity changes with the scanning window suggesting that creep depends on the local arrangements of pinning centers. Vortices fluctuate on small-scale erratic paths, indicating that the vortex lattice makes jumps trying different arrangements during its travel along the main direction for creep. Lastly, the images provide a visual account of how vortex lattice motion maintains hexagonal order, while showing dynamic properties characteristic of a glass.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain). Laboratorio de Bajas Temperaturas y Altos Campos Magneticos, Unidad Asociada UAM, CSIC, Departamento de Fisica de la Materia Condensada, Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales Nicolas Cabrera and Condensed Matter Physics Center (IFIMAC)
  2. Ames Lab., Ames, IA (United States); Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States). Department of Physics & Astronomy
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
IS-J-9304
Journal ID: ISSN 2469-9950; PRBMDO
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11358; 679080; 618321; MP-1201; FIS2014-54498-R; MDM-2014-0377
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review B
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 95; Journal Issue: 13; Journal ID: ISSN 2469-9950
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Ames Laboratory (AMES), Ames, IA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY
OSTI Identifier:
1374737
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1350789