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Title: Accelerated vortex dynamics across the magnetic 3D-to-2D crossover in disordered superconductors

Disorder can have remarkably disparate consequences in superconductors, driving superconductor–insulator transitions in ultrathin films by localizing electron pairs and boosting the supercurrent carrying capacity of thick films by localizing vortices (magnetic flux lines). Though the electronic 3D-to-2D crossover at material thicknesses d ~ ξ (coherence length) is well studied, a similarly consequential magnetic crossover at d ~ L c (pinning length) that should drastically alter material properties remains largely underexamined. According to collective pinning theory, vortex segments of length L c bend to adjust to energy wells provided by point defects. Consequently, if d truncates L c, a change from elastic to rigid vortex dynamics should increase the rate of thermally activated vortex motion S. Here, we characterize the dependence of S on sample thickness in Nb and cuprate films. The results for Nb are consistent with collective pinning theory, whereas creep in the cuprate is strongly influenced by sparse large precipitates. In conclusion, we leverage the sensitivity of S to d to determine the generally unknown scale L c, establishing a new route for extracting pinning lengths in heterogeneously disordered materials.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [4] ;  [5] ;  [4]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  3. Seikei Univ., Tokyo (Japan)
  4. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  5. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
npj Quantum Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 3; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2397-4648
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY
OSTI Identifier:
1465503