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Neutron Scattering Studies of Vortex Matter in Type-II Superconductors

Description: The proposed program is an experimental study of the fundamental properties of Abrikosov vortex matter in type-II superconductors. Most superconducting materials used in applications such as MRI are type II and their transport properties are determined by the interplay between random pinning, interaction and thermal fluctuation effects in the vortex state. Given the technological importance of these materials, a fundamental understanding of the vortex matter is necessary. The vortex lines in type-II superconductors also form a useful model system for fundamental studies of a number of important issues in condensed matter physics, such as the presence of a symmetry-breaking phase transition in the presence of random pinning. Recent advances in neutron scattering facilities such as the major upgrade of the NIST cold source and the Spallation Neutron Source are providing unprecedented opportunities in addressing some of the longstanding issues in vortex physics. The core component of the proposed program is to use small angle neutron scattering and Bitter decoration experiments to provide the most stringent test of the Bragg glass theory by measuring the structure factor in both the real and reciprocal spaces. The proposed experiments include a neutron reflectometry experiment to measure the precise Q-dependence of the structure factor of the vortex lattice in the Bragg glass state. A second set of SANS experiments will be on a shear-strained Nb single crystal for testing a recently proposed theory of the stability of Bragg glass. The objective is to artificially create a set of parallel grain boundaries into a Nb single crystal and use SANS to measure the vortex matter diffraction pattern as a function of the changing angle between the applied magnetic field to the grain boundaries. The intrinsic merits of the proposed work are a new fundamental understanding of type-II superconductors on which superconducting technology is based, and ...
Date: February 2, 2012
Creator: Ling, Xinsheng
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department