Friday, July 26, 2013

1307.6846 (A. Gurevich andG. Ciovati)

Effect of vortex hotspots on the radio-frequency surface resistance of

A. Gurevich andG. Ciovati
We present detailed experimental and theoretical investigations of hotspots produced by trapped vortex bundles and their effect on the radio-frequency (rf) surface resistance $R_s$ of superconductors at low temperatures. Our measurements of $R_s$ combined with the temperature mapping and laser scanning of a 2.36 mm thick Nb plate incorporated into a 3.3 GHz Nb resonator cavity cooled by the superfluid He at 2 K, revealed spatial scales and temperature distributions of hotspots and showed that they can be moved or split by thermal gradients produced by the scanning laser beam. These results, along with the observed hysteretic field dependence of $R_s$ which can be tuned by the scanning laser beam, show that the hotspots in our Nb sample are due to trapped vortex bundles which contain $\sim 10^6$ vortices spread over regions $\sim 0.1-1$ cm. We calculated the frequency dependence of the rf power dissipated by oscillating vortex segments trapped between nanoscale pinning centers, taking into account all bending modes and the nonlocal line tension of the vortex driven by rf Meissner currents. We also calculated the temperature distributions caused by trapped vortex hotspots, and suggested a method of reconstructing the spatial distribution of vortex dissipation sources from the observed temperature maps. Vortex hotspots can dominate the residual surface resistance at low temperatures and give rise to a significant dependence of $R_s$ on the rf field amplitude $H_p$, which can have important implications for the rf resonating cavities used in particle accelerators and for thin film structures used in quantum computing and photon detectors.
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