Stroboscopic phenomena in superconductors with dynamic pinning landscape
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
London :Nature Publishing Group
Engineering sciences. Technology
Scientific reports. - London, 2011, currens
, 10 p.
University of Antwerp
Introducing artificial pinning centers is a well established strategy to trap quantum vortices and increase the maximal magnetic field and applied electric current that a superconductor can sustain without dissipation. In case of spatially periodic pinning, a clear enhancement of the superconducting critical current arises when commensurability between the vortex configurations and the pinning landscape occurs. With recent achievements in (ultrafast) optics and nanoengineered plasmonics it has become possible to exploit the interaction of light with superconductivity, and create not only spatially periodic imprints on the superconducting condensate, but also temporally periodic ones. Here we show that in the latter case, temporal matching phenomena develop, caused by stroboscopic commensurability between the characteristic frequency of the vortex motion under applied current and the frequency of the dynamic pinning. The matching resonances persist in a broad parameter space, including magnetic field, driving current, or material purity, giving rise to unusual features such as externally variable resistance/impedance and Shapiro steps in current-voltage characteristics. All features are tunable by the frequency of the dynamic pinning landscape. These findings open further exploration avenues for using flashing, spatially engineered, and/or mobile excitations on superconductors, permitting us to achieve advanced functionalities.