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Vortex pinning by natural defects in thin films of YBa2Cu3O7-

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Although vortex pinning in laser-ablated YBa2Cu3O7- films on (100) SrTiO3 is dominated by threading dislocations (Dam B et al (1999) Nature399 439), many other natural pinning sites are present. To identify the contribution from twin planes, surface corrugations and point defects, we manipulate the relative densities of all defects by post-annealing films with various as-grown dislocation densities, ndisl. While a universal magnetic field B dependence of the transport current density js(B, T) is observed (independently of ndisl, temperature T and the annealing treatment), the defect structure changes considerably. Correlating the microstructure to js(B, T), it becomes clear that surface roughness, twins and point defects are not important at low magnetic fields compared to linear defect pinning. Transmission electron microscopy indicates that threading dislocations are not part of grain boundaries nor are they related to the twin domain structure. We conclude that js(B, T) is essentially determined by pinning along threading dislocations, naturally induced during the growth process. Even in high magnetic fields, where the vortex density outnumbers ndisl, it appears that linear defects stabilize the vortex lattice by means of the vortex-vortex interaction.

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Sciences, Division of Physics and Astronomy, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2: Department of Applied Physics, Materials Science Centre, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, NL-9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands

Publication date: March 1, 2002


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