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Structure and degeneracy of vortex lattice domains in pure superconducting niobium: A small-angle neutron scattering study

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.79.014518 DOI Help

Authors: M. Laver (NIST) , C. J. Bowell (University of Birmingham) , E. M. Forgan (University of Birmingham) , A. B. Abrahamsen (Risø National Laboratory) , D. Fort (University of Birmingham) , C. D. Dewhurst (ILL) , S. Mühlbauer (University of Munich) , D. K. Christen (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) , J. Kohlbrecher (PSI) , R. Cubitt (ILL) , S. Ramos (Diamond Light Source)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Physical Review B , VOL 79 (1) , PAGES 014518

State: Published (Approved)
Published: January 2009

Abstract: High-purity niobium exhibits a surprisingly rich assortment of vortex lattice VL structures for fields applied parallel to a fourfold symmetry axis, with all observed VL phases made up of degenerate domains that spontaneously break some crystal symmetry. Yet a single regular hexagonal VL domain is observed at all temperatures and fields parallel to a threefold symmetry axis. We report a detailed investigation of the transition between these lush and barren VL landscapes, discovering new VL structures and phase transitions at high fields. We show that the number and relative population of VL domains is intrinsically tied to the underlying crystal symmetry. We discuss how subtle anisotropies of the crystal may generate the remarkable VLs observed.

Subject Areas: Physics


Instruments: NONE-No attached Diamond beamline

Added On: 19/08/2009 23:07

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