Physical Review Letters

Defect independence of the irreversibility line in proton-irradiated Y-Ba-Cu-O crystals

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Flux pinning in Y-Ba-Cu-O crystals is studied as a function of fluence of 3-MeV protons, which create random local defects. Order-of-magnitude increases in the critical current density are deduced from magnetic hysteresis loops, with values up to 2×105 A/cm2 observed at 77 K and 1 T. However, the irreversibility line in the field-temperature plane and the pinning potentials deduced from flux-creep studies are hardly changed. These results are compared to melting and pinning models. © 1990 The American Physical Society.