Local, deterministic manipulation of individual vortices in type 2 superconductors is challenging. The ability to control the position of individual vortices is necessary in order to study how vortices interact with each other, with the lattice, and with other magnetic objects. Here, we present a protocol for vortex manipulation in thin superconducting films by local contact, without applying current or magnetic field. Vortices are imaged using a scanning superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID), and vertical stress is applied to the sample by pushing the tip of a silicon chip into the sample, using a piezoelectric element. Vortices are moved by tapping the sample or sweeping it with the silicon tip. Our method allows for effective manipulation of individual vortices, without damaging the film or affecting its topography. We demonstrate how vortices were relocated to distances of up to 0.8 mm. The vortices remained stable at their new location up to five days. With this method, we can control vortices and move them to form complex configurations. This technique for vortex manipulation could also be implemented in applications such as vortex based logic devices.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank A. Sharoni from Bar-Ilan University for providing the superconducting films. This research was supported by European Research Council Grant ERC-2014-STG-639792, Marie Curie Career Integration Grant FP7-PEOPLE-2012-CIG-333799, and Israel Science Foundation Grant ISF-1102/13.
© 2017 Journal of Visualized Experiments.
- Issue 120
- Scanning SQUID microscopy
- Superconducting thin films
- Superconducting vortices
- Vortex manipulation
- Vortex matter
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Department of Physics