Magnetic dipoles at topological defects in the Meissner state of a nanostructured superconductor
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
PHYSICAL REVIEW B
, 6 p.
University of Antwerp
In a magnetic field, superconductivity is manifested by total magnetic field expulsion (Meissner effect) or by the penetration of integer multiples of the flux quantum Phi(0). Here we present experimental results revealing magnetic dipoles formed by Meissner current flowing around artificially introduced topological defects (lattice of antidots). By using scanning Hall probe microscopy, we have detected ordered magnetic dipole lattice generated at spatially periodic antidots in a Pb superconducting film. While the conventional homogeneous Meissner state breaks down, the total magnetic flux of the magnetic dipoles remains quantized and is equal to zero. The observed magnetic dipoles strongly depend on the intensity and direction of the locally flowing Meissner current, making the magnetic dipoles an effective way to monitor the local supercurrent. We have also investigated the first step of the vortex depinning process, where, due to the generation of magnetic dipoles, the pinned Abrikosov vortices are deformed and shifted from their original pinning sites.