Physica C: Superconductivity and its Applications
Conference paper

Vortex pinning in high-Tc materials via randomly oriented columnar defects, created by GeV proton-induced fission fragments

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Extensive work has shown that irradiation with 0.8 GeV protons can produce randomly oriented columnar defects (CDs) in a large number of HTS materials, specifically those cuprates containing Hg, Tl, Pb, Bi, and similar heavy elements. Absorbing the incident proton causes the nucleus of these species to fission, and the recoiling fission fragments create amorphous tracks, i.e., CDs. The superconductive transition temperature Tc decreases linearly with proton fluence and we analyze how the rate depends on the family of superconductors. In a study of Tl-2212 materials, adding defects decreases the equilibrium magnetization Meq(H) significantly in magnitude and changes its field dependence; this result is modeled in terms of vortex pinning. Analysis of the irreversible magnetization and its time dependence shows marked increases in the persistent current density and effective pinning energy, and leads to an estimate for the elementary attempt time for vortex hopping, τ ∼ 4 × 10-9 s. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.