We employed a scanning Hall probe microscope to detect the hopping of individual vortices between pinning sites along grain boundaries in YBa2Cu3O6+δ thin films in the presence of an applied current. Detecting the motion of individual vortices allowed us to probe the current-voltage (I-V) characteristics of the grain boundary with voltage sensitivity below a femtovolt. We find a very sharp onset of dissipation with V∝In with an unprecedented high exponent of n ≈ 290 that shows essentially no dependence on temperature or grain boundary angle. Our data have no straightforward explanation within the existing grain boundary transport models.
Kalisky, B., Kirtley, J. R., Nowadnick, E. A., Dinner, R. B., Zeldov, E., Ariando, A., ... Moler, K. A. (2009). Dynamics of single vortices in grain boundaries: I-V characteristics on the femtovolt scale. Applied physics letters, 94(20), 202504-. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3137164