Vortex imaging and vortex lattice transitions in superconducting Sr2RuO4 single crystals
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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.
Curran , P J , Khotkevych , V , Bending , S J , Gibbs , A S , Lee , S L & Mackenzie , A 2011 , ' Vortex imaging and vortex lattice transitions in superconducting Sr 2 RuO 4 single crystals ' Physical Review. B, Condensed matter and materials physics , vol 84 , no. 10 , 104507 . DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.84.104507
Physical Review. B, Condensed matter and materials physics
© 2011 American Physical Society
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