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High-field critical current enhancement by irradiation induced correlated and random defects in (Ba0.6K0.4)Fe2As2

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journal contribution
posted on 12.04.2016 by K. J. Kihlstrom, L. Fang, Y. Jia, B. Shen, A. E. Koshelev, U. Welp, G. W. Crabtree, W. K. Kwok, A. Kayani, S. F. Zhu, H. H. Wen
Mixed pinning landscapes in superconductors are emerging as an effective strategy to achieve high critical currents in high, applied magnetic fields. Here, we use heavy-ion and proton irradiation to create correlated and point defects to explore the vortex pinning behavior of each and combined constituent defects in the iron-based superconductor Ba0.6K0.4Fe2As2 and find that the pinning mechanisms are non-additive. The major effect of p-irradiation in mixed pinning landscapes is the generation of field-independent critical currents in very high fields. At 7 T ‖ c and 5 K, the critical current density exceeds 5 MA/cm2.


This work was supported by the Center for Emergent Superconductivity, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (KK, LF, YJ, BS, AEK, UW, GWC, WKK). The operation of the ATLAS facility was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Physics, under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357 (SZ). Proton-irradiation of the samples was carried out at the Western Michigan University accelerator laboratory (AK). The work in China was supported by the NSF of China, the MOST of China (Nos. 2011CBA00102 and 2012CB821403) and PAPD (HHW).



American Institute of Physics





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