Physicist at CNRS-Thales Lab, France
Our work on vortex-ice in high-temperature superconductors has been recently published in Nature Nanotechnology.
We have developed a masked ion irradiation technique that allows us to pattern the electronic properties of oxide superconductors at the nanoscale. Based on this ability, we experimentally realize a system in which the geometry of the potential-energy landscape for magnetic flux quanta (vortices) can be switched using temperature as the control knob. Depending on the temperature, the flux quanta induced by an applied magnetic field see either a geometrically frustrated energy landscape that favours an ice-like flux ordering, or an unfrustrated landscape that yields a periodic flux distribution. This effect is reflected in a dramatic change in the superconductor’s magneto-transport. The thermal switching of the energy landscape geometry provides a model for the study of ordering and reorganization in repulsive particle manifolds.
The prospects of this work outreach vortex physics, as the masked ion irradiation technique can be used to pattern the electronic properties of other oxides.
You can learn more about this research line here.