Ultra-fast vortex motion in dirty Nb-C superconductor with a close-to-perfect edge barrier

O. V. Dobrovolskiy, D. Yu. Vodolazov, F. Porrati, R. Sachser, V. M. Bevz, M. Yu. Mikhailov, A. V. Chumak, M. Huth

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Feb 21, 2020
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Received Date: 11th February 20

The ultra-fast dynamics of superconducting vortices harbors rich physics generic to nonequilibrium collective systems. The phenomenon of flux-flow instability (FFI), however, prevents its exploration and sets practical limits for the use of vortices in various applications. To suppress the FFI, a superconductor should exhibit a rarely achieved combination of properties: weak volume pinning, close-to-depairing critical current, and fast heat removal from heated electrons. Here, we demonstrate experimentally ultra-fast vortex motion at velocities of 10-15 km/s in a directly written Nb-C superconductor in which a close-to-perfect edge barrier orders the vortex motion at large current values. The spatial evolution of the FFI is described using the edge-controlled FFI model, implying a chain of FFI nucleation points along the sample edge and their development into self-organized Josephson-like junctions (vortex rivers). In addition, our results offer insights into the applicability of widely used FFI models and suggest Nb-C to be a good candidate material for fast single-photon detectors.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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