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Vortex imaging and vortex lattice transitions in superconducting Sr2RuO4 single crystals

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Curran, P. J., Khotkevych, V. V., Bending, S. J., Gibbs, A. S., Lee, S. L., & Mackenzie, A. P. (2011). Vortex imaging and vortex lattice transitions in superconducting Sr2RuO4 single crystals. Physical Review B, 84(10): 104507, pp. 1-8. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.84.104507.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0018-F29D-6
Abstract
Scanning Hall probe microscopy has been used to study vortex structures in very-high-quality single crystals of the unconventional superconductor Sr2RuO4 (T-c congruent to 1.5 K). In none of our samples do we find credible evidence for the existence of the spontaneous fields or chiral domains predicted for the expected time-reversal symmetry-breaking order parameter. Even in our highest-quality samples we observe very strong vortex pinning and anomalous broadening of vortex profiles. The best samples also exhibit a clear field-driven triangular to square vortex lattice transition at low fields, as predicted by extended London theory calculations. In stark contrast, slightly less well-ordered samples exhibit pronounced vortex chaining/banding that we tentatively attribute to an extrinsic source of disorder.