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Title:Imaging vortex dynamics in Josephson arrays using magnetic force microscopy
Author(s):Naibert, Tyler R
Director of Research:Budakian, Raffi
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Van Harlingen, Dale
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Vishveshwara, Smitha; Gadway, Bryce
Department / Program:Physics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Magnetic Force Microscopy
Josephson junction
Josephson junction array
SNS array
vortex interactions
Abstract:Vortices and vortex lattices play a major role in determining the transport properties of type-II superconductors[1–3], and enable a platform to investigate exotic superconducting physics[4,5]. The study of vortex matter has generally focused on novel states in 2D films and structures, and has recently moved to investigating systems with constrained dimensions and smaller vortex numbers[6–11]. Vortices are responsible, for example, for some electrical transport regimes in superconducting films, as well as the Berezinkskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless phase transition in superconducting films[12]. Unconventional forms of superconductivity, such as the spin triplet pairing predicted in Sr2RuO4, or in topological insulators paired to s-wave superconductors, contain two condensates that may support two vortex lattices, and may display Majorana modes, signatures of which may have been seen in other superconducting systems[13–17]. The vortex-vortex interactions, or inter and intra-condensate couplings in multicondensate systems, are important parameters that characterize the behavior of the systems that display such phenomena[18–20]. In investigating these parameters, a technique that can both probe the energies in a system, as well as manipulate the vortices therein, has long been desired. In this work, we report on progress in determining the energy scales of vortex systems, as well as limited control over the vortex motion. Using a technique based on magnetic force microscopy, we can directly measure the resonant motion of vortices present in a superconducting lattice. We use a scanning magnetic tip to trap a small number of vortices in a superconducting Josephson junction array near the tip. By observing the resonant motion of the configuration of vortices, a map of the location of energy degeneracies between different stable configurations is generated. From this data, we use a simulation to extract the relative strengths of the characteristic energy scales for the system, including the vortex-magnetic field interaction, the vortex-vortex interaction strength, and the chemical potential for the vortices. The simulations for small numbers of vortices fits the data well for multiple field profiles and lattice spacings. The ability to tune the vortex number and configurations by changing the magnetic field profile from the tip, as well as the lattice parameters of the superconducting surface, are key portions of this technique. We demonstrate that the relative strengths of the chemical potential and vortex-vortex interactions can be tuned relative to the vortex-magnetic field energy by changing the lattice spacing of the array. We also show that by moving the tip farther from or closer to the surface, which changes the potential well from the tip, that the configurations of vortices can be modified. From the experiments, we show that this technique can be used to both extract the strengths of the relative energy scales in this system and other superconducting systems, as well as for manipulating the vortex configurations for quantum computation applications.
Issue Date:2017-07-03
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Tyler R. Naibert
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-09-29
Date Deposited:2017-08

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