Physical Review B

Reducing vortex motion in YBa2Cu3O7 crystals with splay in columnar defects

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A strategy to boost the current-carrying capacity of cuprate superconductors beyond the levels attainable with parallel columnar defects was recently proposed. It consists of the enforcement of vortex entanglement by controlled splay of columns. We demonstrate the validity of this suggestion in YBa2Cu3O2 single crystals using the difference in splay naturally occurring in irradiations with two ions differing in mass and energy. The terminal dispersion of the columns produced by 0.58-GeV Sn30+116 is about 10°, as compared with 1°for 1.08-GeV Au23+197. At high temperatures, this large splay results in a persistent current density one order of magnitude larger and a creep rate one order of magnitude smaller. © 1994 The American Physical Society.