We use magnetic flux quanta (superconducting vortices) on artificial energy landscapes (pinning arrays) to create a new type of artificial ice. This vortex ice shows unusual temperature effects that offer new possibilities in the study of ice systems.
We have investigated the matching of the flux lattice to pinning arrays that present geometrical frustration. The pinning arrays are fabricated on YBCO films using masked O+ ion irradiation. The details of the magneto-resistance imply that the flux lattice organizes into a vortex ice. The absence of history-dependent effects suggests that the vortex ice is highly ordered.
Due to the technique used for the artificial energy landscape fabrication, we have the ability to change the pinning array geometry using temperature as a control knob. In particular we can switch the geometrical frustration on and off, which opens the door to performing a new type of annealing absent in other artificial ice systems.
* Work supported by the French ANR “MASTHER”, and the Fundación Barrié (Galicia, Spain)
Juan Trastoy Quintela, Maxime Malnou, Christian Ulysse, Rozenn Bernard, Nicolas Bergeal, Giancarlo Faini, Jerome Lesueur, Javier Briatico, and Javier E. Villegas, "Artificial ice using superconducting vortices
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9931, Spintronics IX, 99311R (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 30, 2016; Published: 4 November 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2238757.5166910728001.
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