Dynamics of single vortices in grain boundaries: I-V characteristics on the femtovolt scale

B. Kalisky, J.R. Kirtley, E.A. Nowadnick, R.B. Dinner, E. Zeldov, A. Ariando, Sander Wenderich, S. Wenderich, Johannes W.M. Hilgenkamp, D.M. Feldmann, K.A. Moler

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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.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)202504-
JournalApplied physics letters
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • IR-73725
  • METIS-261979

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