University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Electron Microscopy Group Seminars > Direct observation of vortex configurations in mesoscopic superconductors: vortex shells, magic numbers and more...

Direct observation of vortex configurations in mesoscopic superconductors: vortex shells, magic numbers and more...

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Vortices in superconductors are often regarded as a distinct state of matter, representing an ensemble of interacting particles whose density can be varied simply by changing the externally applied magnetic field. When, in addition, vortices are confined in a small (mesoscopic) superconductor, their number and spatial arrangement correspond to a series of discrete superconducting states characterized by vorticity L. A number of new and exotic states have been reported or predicted for such mesoscopic superconductors: paramagnetic Meissner effect, fractional and negative vortices, giant vortices and distinct multivortex states. We have studied multi-vortex configurations in mesoscopic superconductors directly, by using the Bitter decoration technique and the results will be reviewed in this talk. Two different types of mesoscopic samples have been studied: thin-film based and single-crystal-based. In both cases, confinement was found to have a profound effect on vortex arrangements, e.g., concentric shells of vortices were found for circular geometry, with well defined shell-filling rules and magic numbers for vorticities corresponding to complete vortex shells. The observed behaviour will be compared with that for some other confined systems of interacting particles.

This talk is part of the Electron Microscopy Group Seminars series.

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