Volume 108, Number 3, November 2014
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Electronic Structure, Electrical, Magnetic and Optical Properties|
|Published online||11 November 2014|
Increasing the critical temperature of Nb films by chemically linking magnetic nanoparticles using organic molecules
1 Applied Physics Department and the Center for Nano-Science and Nano-Technology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Jerusalem, 91904 Israel
2 Racah Institute of Physics and the Center for Nano- Science and Nano-Technology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Jerusalem, 91904 Israel
3 Insitute of Catalysis Research and Technology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology - Karlsruhe, Germany
Received: 28 August 2014
Accepted: 20 October 2014
In type-II superconductors vortex pinning enhances the critical current density. One known method to induce pinning sites is the use of magnetic nanostructures that locally degrade the superconductivity via stray fields. In recent studies, we showed that both the critical temperature and critical current of Nb thin films can be enhanced by coupling Au nanoparticles via organic molecules and, concomitantly, a zero-bias peak appeared in the density of states. One suggested mechanism to explain these effects was the interaction of the induced pinning potential landscape with the Cooper pairs and vortices. To further examine this mechanism we study in the present work the effects of chemically linking magnetic nanoparticles to Nb films. Two types of magnetic nanoparticles are investigated, half-metal (Fe3O4) and metallic (Co). For high nanoparticle density, resulting in an effective continuous magnetic film, the critical temperature is reduced, as expected. However, for intermediate density, where the magnetic nanoparticles are well separated and a distinct pinning landscape is formed above the Nb film, critical temperature and current density enhancements are observed for both types of particles. Moreover, the tunnelling spectra acquired on the (metallic) Co nanoparticles exhibit a zero-bias conducting peak. The magnetic nanoparticles proximity through organic molecules presents similar behaviour to the non-magnetic Au nanoparticles inverse proximity results. This may suggest that pinning mechanisms play a role in the critical temperature enhancement.
PACS: 74.25.Ha – Magnetic properties including vortex structures and related phenomena / 74.25.Wx – Vortex pinning (includes mechanisms and flux creep)
© EPLA, 2014
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