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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Jul 29;107(5):057002. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

Formation of multiple-flux-quantum vortices in mesoscopic superconductors from simulations of calorimetric, magnetic, and transport properties.

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  • 1Departement Fysica, Universiteit Antwerpen, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerpen, Belgium.


Because of strong flux confinement in mesoscopic superconductors, a "giant" vortex may appear in the ground state of the system in an applied magnetic field. This multiquanta vortex can then split into individual vortices (and vice versa) as a function of, e.g., applied current, magnetic field, or temperature. Here we show that such transitions can be identified by calorimetry, as the formation or splitting of a giant vortex results in a clear jump in measured heat capacity versus external drive. We attribute this phenomenon to an abrupt change in the density of states of the quasiparticle excitations in the vortex core(s), and further link it to a sharp change of the magnetic susceptibility at the transition--proving that the formation of a giant vortex can also be detected by magnetometry.

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