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Vortex imaging and vortex lattice transitions in superconducting Sr2RuO4 single crystals

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Author(s)

P. J. Curran, Volodymyr Khotkevych, S. J. Bending, Alexandra Sarah Gibbs, Stephen Leslie Lee, Andrew Mackenzie

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Abstract

Scanning Hall probe microscopy has been used to study vortex structures in very-high-quality single crystals of the unconventional superconductor Sr2RuO4 (T-c congruent to 1.5 K). In none of our samples do we find credible evidence for the existence of the spontaneous fields or chiral domains predicted for the expected time-reversal symmetry-breaking order parameter. Even in our highest-quality samples we observe very strong vortex pinning and anomalous broadening of vortex profiles. The best samples also exhibit a clear field-driven triangular to square vortex lattice transition at low fields, as predicted by extended London theory calculations. In stark contrast, slightly less well-ordered samples exhibit pronounced vortex chaining/banding that we tentatively attribute to an extrinsic source of disorder.

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number104507
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review. B, Condensed matter and materials physics
Volume84
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sep 2011

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