Magnetometry of high temperature superconducting micro-disks and single crystals

  • Malcolm Connolly

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Local Hall probe measurements and differential magneto-optical imaging with high spatial resolution have been used to investigate the magnetic state of high temperature superconducting Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+� (BSCCO) micro-disks and platelet single crystals. The results obtained by magneto-optical imaging demonstrate that the field at which flux quantised vortices enter the disks decays exponentially with increasing temperature and the measured data agree well with analytic models for the thermal excitation of individual pancake vortices over Bean-Livingston surface barriers. Scanning Hall probe microscopy images are used to directly map the magnetic induction profiles of individual micro-disks at different applied fields and the results can be quite successfully fitted to analytic models which assume a continuous distribution of flux in the sample. At low fields, however, the characteristic mesoscopic compression of vortex clusters in increasing magnetic fields has been observed. Even at higher fields, where single vortex resolution is lost, it is still possible to track configurational changes in the vortex patterns, since competing vortex orders impose unmistakable signatures on local magnetisation curves as a function of the applied field. These observations are in excellent agreement with molecular dynamics numerical simulations which lead to a natural definition of the lengthscale for the crossover between discrete and continuum behaviours in this system. In closely related experiments, Hall magnetometry is used to probe the out-of-plane local magnetisation of platelet BSCCO single crystals. The magnetisation is found to depend on the strength and direction of an in-plane magnetic field in the crossing vortex lattices regime. The remanent magnetisation in zero out-of-plane field is found to exhibit a pronounced anisotropy, being largest with the in-plane field parallel to the crystalline a-axis, and smallest when it is parallel to the orthogonal b-axis. This behaviour is attributed to the presence of underlying linear disorder. Finally, spectral analysis of the local magnetisation data is used to estimate a lower cutoff for the characteristic frequency of thermal fluctuations of vortex positions.
Date of Award1 May 2008
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorSimon Bending (Supervisor)


  • mesoscopics
  • vortex matter
  • superconductivity

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