Spatially resolved penetration depth measurements and vortex manipulation in the ferromagnetic superconductor ErNi2 B2C

Date
2015-07-01
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Wulferding, Dirk
Yang, Ilkyu
Yang, Jinho
Lee, Minkyung
Choi, Hee Cheul
Bud’ko, Sergey
Canfield, Paul
Yeom, Han Woong
Kim, Jeehoon
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Ames Laboratory
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Physics and Astronomy
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We present a local probe study of the magnetic superconductor ErNi2B2C, using magnetic force microscopy at sub-Kelvin temperatures. ErNi2B2C is an ideal system to explore the effects of concomitant superconductivity and ferromagnetism. At 500 mK, far below the transition to a weakly ferromagnetic state, we directly observe a structured magnetic background on the micrometer scale. We determine spatially resolved absolute values of the magnetic penetration depth λ and study its temperature dependence as the system undergoes magnetic phase transitions from paramagnetic to antiferromagnetic, and to weak ferromagnetic, all within the superconducting regime. In addition, we estimate the absolute pinning force of Abrikosov vortices, which shows a position dependence and temperature dependence as well, and discuss the possibility of the purported spontaneous vortex formation.

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This article is published as Wulferding, Dirk, Ilkyu Yang, Jinho Yang, Minkyung Lee, Hee Cheul Choi, Sergey L. Bud'ko, Paul C. Canfield, Han Woong Yeom, and Jeehoon Kim. "Spatially resolved penetration depth measurements and vortex manipulation in the ferromagnetic superconductor ErNi2B2C." Physical Review B 92, no. 1 (2015): 014517. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.92.014517. Posted with permission.

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