Stochastic Resonance in Superconducting Nb Film with Periodic Array of Holes
Stochastic fluxon dynamics and spatial ordering are studied in a superconducting Nb film patterned with a periodic (3×3 micron) square array of holes. First, imaging of the film is performed using Scanning Hall Probe Microscope following application of the random noise magnetic drive. We observe formation of the fluxon stripe patterns oriented preferentially along the principal axes of the array. Next, ac magnetic field is applied as superposition of harmonic and random noise components and the local magnetic response is probed with the micron-sized Hall sensor at a single array site. We find that hopping of the fluxons becomes synchronized with the harmonic driving at certain amplitude of the random noise; the latter is found to be dependent upon the harmonic drive frequency. We attribute our observations to the phenomenon of stochastic resonance that is ubiquitous in non-linear multi-level systems with dynamic threshold and discuss a possibility of flux manipulation using stochastically-resonant periodic driving.
KeywordsSuperconducting thin films Flux dynamics Scanning probes
Authors are thankful to G. Jung for useful discussions. Funding by the Syracuse University and the U.S. NSF, grant DMR-0210519 is acknowledged.