In this paper, we present the results of various magnetic measurements on an NdBa2Cu3O7-δ (NdBCO) single crystal. Special features observed in the magnetization loops (MHLs) are discussed. From these loops, critical current densities, jc as a function of the applied field, Ha, and volume pinning forces, Fp =jc × B, are derived. The samples exhibit a strong fishtail or peak effect at temperatures above 30 K. In a small temperature window between 50 K and 74 K, even three peaks are seen in the jc(T,Ha) curves. A good scaling of the jc (T,Ha) curves is obtained, which allows the identification of the peaks. The scaled volume pinning forces (vs the reduced field, h = Ha/Hiir), in the temperature regime between 60 and 90 K give experimental evidence for a strong pinning at extended superconducting defects (interaction volume Vpin ∼ξ2d). These defects are ascribed to spatial composition fluctuations found in light rare earth superconductors, providing a scatter of the transition temperature, Tc. Furthermore, the scaling analysis of Fp is extended towards low temperatures. It is shown that at 5 K another peak in Fp is found, which is due to pinning at twin boundaries. Using this scaling analysis of both jc and Fp, the irreversibility line (IL) is determined in the entire temperature range 0-92 K. Magneto-optic (MO) imaging is employed to investigate the flux distributions of various NdBCO single crystals. These images confirm the important role of twin boundaries as pinning sites at low temperatures and low applied fields.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)