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Current hysteresis in the intermediate state of thin-film superconductors

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We have studied the current hysteresis at 4.2 K in the intermediate state of superconducting lead films using electrical resistance measurements and high-resolution magnetooptical observations of the magnetic flux structure. At low magnetic fields the liquidlike arrangement of the flux structure in the form of multiquanta flux tubes was found to persist following the application of a high electrical transport current with an average current density of 105–106 A/cm2. In this field range areduction of the resistive voltage was observed following the application of a high transport current. This inverse current hysteresis appears to be associated with a shift of the magnetic flux structure in the direction of the current-induced flux motion resulting in an extended fluxfree region along the sample edge where flux tubes enter the film during flux motion. At higher magnetic fields, where the laminar flux structure is the stable configuration, the usual resistive voltage enhancement has been observed following the application of a high transport current. In this regime the laminae rearrange themselves under the influence of a transport current resulting in a preferential orientation perpendicular to the current.

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Based on work performed under the auspices of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

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Huebener, R.P., Kampwirth, R.T. Current hysteresis in the intermediate state of thin-film superconductors. J Low Temp Phys 7, 229–239 (1972).

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  • Intermediate State
  • High Magnetic Field
  • Flux Tube
  • Electrical Transport
  • Transport Current