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Sci Rep ; 11(1): 20100, 2021 Oct 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34635712


The process of developing superconducting materials for large scale applications is mainly oriented to optimize flux pinning and the current carrying capability. A powerful approach to investigate pinning properties is to combine high resolution imaging with transport measurements as a function of the magnetic field orientation, supported by a pinning modelling. We carry out Transmission Electron Microscopy, Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy and critical current measurements in fields up to 16 T varying the angle between the field and c-axis of Fe(Se,Te) epitaxial thin films deposited on CaF2 substrates. We find evidence of nanoscale domains with different Te:Se stoichiometry and/or rotated and tilted axes, as well as of lattice distortions and two-dimensional defects at the grain boundaries. These elongated domains are tens of nm in size along the in-plane axes. We establish a correlation between these observed microstructural features and the pinning properties, specifically strongly enhanced pinning for the magnetic field oriented in-plane and pinning emerging at higher fields for out-of-plane direction. These features can be accounted for within a model where pinning centers are local variations of the critical temperature and local variations of the mean free path, respectively. The identification of all these growth induced defects acting as effective pinning centers may provide useful information for the optimization of Fe(Se,Te) coated conductors.

Sci Rep ; 8(1): 4150, 2018 Mar 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29515198


Anisotropy effects on flux pinning and flux flow are strongly effective in cuprate as well as iron-based superconductors due to their intrinsically layered crystallographic structure. However Fe(Se,Te) thin films grown on CaF2 substrate result less anisotropic with respect to all the other iron based superconductors. We present the first study on the angular dependence of the flux flow instability, which occurs in the flux flow regime as a current driven transition to the normal state at the instability point (I*, V*) in the current-voltage characteristics. The voltage jumps are systematically investigated as a function of the temperature, the external magnetic field, and the angle between the field and the Fe(Se,Te) film. The scaling procedure based on the anisotropic Ginzburg-Landau approach is successfully applied to the observed angular dependence of the critical voltage V*. Anyway, we find out that Fe(Se,Te) represents the case study of a layered material characterized by a weak anisotropy of its static superconducting properties, but with an increased anisotropy in its vortex dynamics due to the predominant perpendicular component of the external applied magnetic field. Indeed, I* shows less sensitivity to angle variations, thus being promising for high field applications.

J Phys Condens Matter ; 29(48): 485002, 2017 12 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29120863


We investigate with scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/STS) and density functional theory (DFT) calculations the surface structures and the electronic properties of Fe1+y Te thin films grown by pulsed laser deposition. Contrary to the regular arrangement of antiferromagnetic nanostripes previously reported on cleaved single-crystal samples, the surface of Fe1+y Te thin films displays a peculiar distribution of spatially inhomogeneous nanostripes. Both STM and DFT calculations show the bias-dependent nature of such features and support the interpretation of spin-polarized tunneling between the FeTe surface and an unintentionally magnetized tip. In addition, the spatial inhomogeneity is interpreted as a purely electronic effect related to changes in hybridization and Fe-Fe bond length driven by local variations in the concentration of excess interstitial Fe cations. Unexpectedly, the surface density of states measured by STS strongly evolves with temperature in close proximity to the antiferromagnetic-paramagnetic first-order transition, and reveals a large pseudogap of 180-250 meV at about 50-65 K. We believe that in this temperature range a phase transition takes place, and the system orders and locks into particular combinations of orbitals and spins because of the interplay between excess interstitial magnetic Fe and strongly correlated d-electrons.

Sci Rep ; 7(1): 4115, 2017 06 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28646157


We study the current-voltage characteristics of Fe(Se,Te) thin films deposited on CaF2 substrates in form of nanostrips (width w ~ λ, λ the London penetration length). In view of a possible application of these materials to superconductive electronics and micro-electronics we focus on transport properties in small magnetic field, the one generated by the bias current. From the characteristics taken at different temperatures we derive estimates for the pinning potential U and the pinning potential range δ for the magnetic flux lines (vortices). Since the sample lines are very narrow, the classical creep flow model provides a sufficiently accurate interpretation of the data only when the attractive interaction between magnetic flux lines of opposite sign is taken into account. The observed voltages and the induced depression of the critical current of the nanostrips are compatible with the presence of a low number ([Formula: see text]) magnetic field lines at the equilibrium, a strongly inhomogeneous current density distribution at the two ends of the strips and a reduced Bean Livingston barrier. In particular, we argue that the sharp corners defining the bridge geometry represent points of easy magnetic flux lines injection. The results are relevant for creep flow analysis in superconducting Fe(Se,Te) nanostrips.