Angular magnetic-field dependence of vortex matching in pinning lattices fabricated by focused or masked helium ion beam irradiation of superconducting YBa2Cu3O7−δ thin films
Low Temp. Phys. 46, 331 (2020)
Abstract: The angular dependence of magnetic-field commensurability effects in thin films of the cuprate high-critical-temperature superconductor YBa2Cu3O7−δ (YBCO) with an artificial pinning landscape is investigated. Columns of point defects are fabricated by two different methods of ion irradiation — scanning the focused 30 keV ion beam in a helium ion microscope or employing the wide-field 75 keV He+ beam of an ion implanter through a stencil mask. Simulations of the ion-target interactions and the resulting collision cascades reveal that with both methods square arrays of defect columns with sub-μm spacings can be created. They consist of dense point-defect clusters, which act as pinning centers for Abrikosov vortices. This is verified by the measurement of commensurable peaks of the critical current and related minima of the flux-flow resistance vs magnetic field at the matching fields. In oblique magnetic fields, the matching features are exclusively governed by the component of the magnetic field parallel to the axes of the columnar defects, which confirms that the magnetic flux is penetrated along the defect columns. We demonstrate that the latter dominate the pinning landscape despite of the strong intrinsic pinning in thin YBCO films.