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Achieving the Theoretical Depairing Current Limit in Superconducting Nanomesh Films

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journal contribution
posted on 13.10.2010, 00:00 by Ke Xu, Peigen Cao, James R. Heath
We show the theoretical depairing current limit can be achieved in a robust fashion in highly ordered superconductor nanomesh films having spatial periodicities smaller than both the superconducting coherence length and the magnetic penetration depth. For a niobium nanomesh film with 34 nm spatial periodicity, the experimental critical current density is enhanced by more than 17 times over the continuous film and is in good agreement with the depairing limit over the entire measured temperature range. The nanomesh superconductors are also less susceptible to thermal fluctuations when compared to nanowire superconductors. Tc values similar to the bulk film are achieved, and the nanomeshes are capable of retaining superconductivity to higher fields relative to the bulk. In addition, periodic oscillations in Tc are observed as a function of field, reflecting the highly ordered nanomesh structure.