Intrinsic and extrinsic pinning in NdFeAs(O,F): Vortex trapping and lock-in by the layered structure
Fe-based superconductors (FBS) present a large variety of compounds whose properties are affected to different extents by their crystal structures. Amongst them, the REFeAs(O,F) (RE1111, RE being a rare-earth element) is the family with the highest critical temperature Tc but also with a large anisotropy and Josephson vortices as demonstrated in the flux-flow regime in Sm1111 (Tc ∼ 55 K). Here we focus on the pinning properties of the lower-Tc Nd1111 in the flux-creep regime. We demonstrate that for H//c critical current density Jc at high temperatures is dominated by point-defect pinning centres, whereas at low temperatures surface pinning by planar defects parallel to the c-axis and vortex shearing prevail. When the field approaches the ab-planes, two different regimes are observed at low temperatures as a consequence of the transition between 3D Abrikosov and 2D Josephson vortices: one is determined by the formation of a vortex-staircase structure and one by lock-in of vortices parallel to the layers. This is the first study on FBS showing this behaviour in the full temperature, field, and angular range and demonstrating that, despite the lower Tc and anisotropy of Nd1111 with respect to Sm1111, this compound is substantially affected by intrinsic pinning generating a strong ab-peak in Jc.
|Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT
||Institut für Technische Physik (ITEP)
KITopen ID: 1000062185
||37.06.02; LK 01
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