Title
Local destruction of superconductivity by non-magnetic impurities in mesoscopic iron-based superconductors Local destruction of superconductivity by non-magnetic impurities in mesoscopic iron-based superconductors
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Publication type
article
Publication
Subject
Physics
Engineering sciences. Technology
Source (journal)
Nature communications
Volume/pages
6(2015) , 6 p.
ISSN
2041-1723
2041-1723
Article Reference
7614
Carrier
E-only publicatie
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
The determination of the pairing symmetry is one of the most crucial issues for the iron-based superconductors, for which various scenarios are discussed controversially. Non-magnetic impurity substitution is one of the most promising approaches to address the issue, because the pair-breaking mechanism from the non-magnetic impurities should be different for various models. Previous substitution experiments demonstrated that the non-magnetic zinc can suppress the superconductivity of various iron-based superconductors. Here we demonstrate the local destruction of superconductivity by non-magnetic zinc impurities in Ba0.5K0.5Fe2As2 by exploring phase-slip phenomena in a mesoscopic structure with 119 × 102 nm2 cross-section. The impurities suppress superconductivity in a three-dimensional Swiss cheese-like pattern with in-plane and out-of-plane characteristic lengths slightly below ~1.34 nm. This causes the superconducting order parameter to vary along abundant narrow channels with effective cross-section of a few square nanometres. The local destruction of superconductivity can be related to Cooper pair breaking by non-magnetic impurities.
Full text (open access)
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/irua/7982f7/03c4ecf6.pdf
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