Authors: Victor Rouco, Carles Navau, Nuria Del-Valle, Davide Massarotti, Gian Paolo Papari, Daniela Stornaiuolo, Xavier Obradors, Teresa Puig, Francesco Tafuri, Alvaro Sanchez, Anna Palau
Nano Lett. 2019196 4174-4179
Abstract: Superconductors are essential in many present and future technologies, from large-scale devices for medical imaging, accelerators, or fusion experiments to ultra-low-power superconducting electronics. However, their potential applicability, and particularly that of high-temperature superconductors (HTS), is severely affected by limited performances at large magnetic fields and high temperatures, where their use is most needed. One of the main reasons for these limitations is the presence of quantized vortices, whose movements result in losses, internal noise, and reduced performances. The conventional strategy to overcome the flow of vortices is to pin them along artificial defects. Here, we theoretically and experimentally demonstrate that critical-current density in high-temperature superconductors can reach unprecedented high values at high fields and temperatures by preventing vortex entry. By tailoring the geometry, that is, reducing the width, W, of nanowire-patterned HTS films, the range of the Meissner state, for which no vortices are present, is extended up to very large applied field values, on the order of ∼1 T. Current densities on the order of the depairing current can be sustained under high fields for a wide range of temperatures. Results may be relevant both for devising new conductors carrying depairing-current values at high temperatures and large magnetic fields and for reducing flux noise in sensors and quantum systems.