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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Jul 30;93(5):057003. Epub 2004 Jul 30.

Vortex states of a superconducting film from a magnetic dot array.

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  • 1Condensed Matter Theory Center, Department of Physics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-4111, USA.


Using Ginzburg-Landau theory, we find novel configurations of vortices in superconducting thin films subject to the magnetic field of a magnetic dot array, with dipole moments oriented perpendicular to the film. Sufficiently strong magnets cause the formation of vortex-antivortex pairs. In most cases, the vortices are confined to dot regions, while the antivortices can form a rich variety of lattice states. We propose an experiment in which the perpendicular component of the dot dipole moments can be tuned using an in-plane magnetic field. We show that in such an experiment the vortex-antivortex pair density shows broad plateaus as a function of the dipole strength. Many of the plateaus correspond to vortex configurations that break dot lattice symmetries. In some of these states, the vortex cores are strongly distorted. Possible experimental consequences are mentioned.

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