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Title: Imaging of super-fast dynamics and flow instabilities of superconducting vortices

Quantized magnetic vortices driven by electric current determine key electromagnetic properties of superconductors. And while the dynamic behavior of slow vortices has been thoroughly investigated, the physics of ultrafast vortices under strong currents remains largely unexplored. Here, we use a nanoscale scanning superconducting quantum interference device to image vortices penetrating into a superconducting Pb film at rates of tens of GHz and moving with velocities of up to tens of km/s, which are not only much larger than the speed of sound but also exceed the pair-breaking speed limit of superconducting condensate. These experiments reveal formation of mesoscopic vortex channels which undergo cascades of bifurcations as the current and magnetic field increase. Our numerical simulations predict metamorphosis of fast Abrikosov vortices into mixed Abrikosov-Josephson vortices at even higher velocities. Our work offers an insight into the fundamental physics of dynamic vortex states of superconductors at high current densities, crucial for many applications.
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  1. Weizmann Inst. of Science, Rehovot (Israel). Dept. of Condensed Matter Physics
  2. Weizmann Inst. of Science, Rehovot (Israel). Dept. of Condensed Matter Physics; Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem (Israel). Racah Inst. of Physics
  3. Univ. of Antwerp (Belgium). Dept. of Physics; Univ. of Liege, (Belgium). Dept. of Physics
  4. Univ. of Colorado, Denver, CO (United States). Dept. of Physics and Electrical Engineering
  5. Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Kharkov (Ukraine). Verkin Inst. for Low Temperature Physics and Engineering
  6. Univ. of Liege, (Belgium). Dept. of Physicsm
  7. Univ. of Antwerp (Belgium). Dept. of Physics
  8. Old Dominion Univ., Norfolk, VA (United States). Dept. of Physics
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Old Dominion Univ., Norfolk, VA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; imaging techniques; magnetic properties and materials; superconducting devices; superconducting properties materials
OSTI Identifier: