Volume 78, Number 5, June 2007
Article Number 57008
Number of page(s) 6
Section Condensed Matter: Electronic Structure, Electrical, Magnetic and Optical Properties
Published online 31 May 2007
EPL, 78 (2007) 57008
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/78/57008

Role of self-irradiation defects on the ageing of $\chem{{}^{239}PuCoGa_5}$

F. Jutier1, J.-C. Griveau1, C. J. van der Beek2, E. Colineau1, F. Wastin1, J. Rebizant1, P. Boulet1, T. Wiss1, H. Thiele1 and E. Simoni3

1  European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements Postfach 2340, 76125 Karlsruhe, Germany
2  Laboratoire des Solides Irradiés, CNRS-UMR 7642 & CEA/DSM/DRECAM, Ecole Polytechnique 91128 Palaiseau Cedex, France
3  Institut de Physique Nucléaire - 91406 Orsay Cedex, France

received 2 November 2006; accepted in final form 26 April 2007; published June 2007
published online 31 May 2007

Low-temperature accumulation and annealing experiments, in conjunction with electrical resitivity and critical current density measurements, were used to study the ageing of the actinide superconductor PuCoGa5. These measurements reveal that 2-nm$\hbox{--} $sized non-superconducting point-like regions are the main damages formed during room temperature ageing; smaller point-like defects are irrelevant to transport properties. Defect sizes and densities deduced from experiment agree with Transmission Electron Microscopy observations.

74.62.Dh - Effects of crystal defects, doping and substitution.
74.25.Qt - Vortex lattices, flux pinning, flux creep.
61.80.-x - Physical radiation effects, radiation damage.

© Europhysics Letters Association 2007