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Title: Equilibrium properties of superconducting niobium at high magnetic fields: A possible existence of a filamentary state in type-II superconductors [Possible existence of a filamentary state in type-II superconductors]

The standard interpretation of the phase diagram of type-II superconductors was developed in the 1960s and has since been considered a well-established part of classical superconductivity. However, upon closer examination a number of fundamental issues arises that leads one to question this standard picture. To address these issues we studied equilibrium properties of niobium samples near and above the upper critical field H c2 in parallel and perpendicular magnetic fields. The samples investigated were very high quality films and single-crystal disks with the Ginzburg-Landau parameters 0.8 and 1.3, respectively. A range of complementary measurements has been performed, which include dc magnetometry, electrical transport, muon spin rotation spectroscopy, and scanning Hall-probe microscopy. Contrary to the standard scenario, we observed that a superconducting phase is present in the sample bulk above H c2 and the field H c3 is the same in both parallel and perpendicular fields. Our findings suggest that above H c2 the superconducting phase forms filaments parallel to the field regardless of the field orientation. Near H c2 the filaments preserve the hexagonal structure of the preceding vortex lattice of the mixed state, and the filament density continuously falls to zero at H c3. Finally, our paper has importantmore » implications for the correct interpretation of the properties of type-II superconductors and can be essential for practical applications of these materials.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [4] ;  [3] ;  [5]
  1. Tulsa Community College, Tulsa, OK (United States)
  2. Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (TJNAF), Newport News, VA (United States)
  3. Univ. of Bath, Bath (United Kingdom)
  4. Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)
  5. KU Leuven, Leuven (Belgium)
  6. Max-Planck-Institut for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart (Germany)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
JLAB-ACC-17-2444; DOE/OR/23177-4219; arXiv:1705.03570
Journal ID: ISSN 2469-9950; PRBMDO; TRN: US1702701
Grant/Contract Number:
DMR 0904157; EP/J010626/1; MP-1201; AC05-06OR23177
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review B
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 95; Journal Issue: 17; Journal ID: ISSN 2469-9950
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Newport News, VA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1357701