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

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10 Author(s)
Kalisky, B. ; Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA ; Kirtley, J.R. ; Nowadnick, E.A. ; Dinner, R.B.
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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.

Published in:

Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:94 ,  Issue: 20 )

Date of Publication:

May 2009

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