5 years ago

Controlled Generation of Quantized Vortex–Antivortex Pairs in a Superconducting Condensate

Controlled Generation of Quantized Vortex–Antivortex Pairs in a Superconducting Condensate
Jacques Tempere, Jun-Yi Ge, Vladimir N. Gladilin, Victor V. Moshchalkov, Jozef Devreese
Quantized vortices, as topological defects, play an important role in both physics and technological applications of superconductors. Normally, the nucleation of vortices requires the presence of a high magnetic field or current density, which allow the vortices to enter from the sample boundaries. At the same time, the controllable generation of individual vortices inside a superconductor is still challenging. Here, we report the controllable creation of single quantum vortices and antivortices at any desirable position inside a superconductor. We exploit the local heating effect of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) tip: superconductivity is locally suppressed by the tip and vortex–antivortex pairs are generated when supercurrent flows around the hot spot. The experimental results are well-explained by theoretical simulations within the Ginzburg–Landau approach.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b02180

DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b02180

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