Superconducting Vortex Lattices

Sideways imaging of the superconducting vortex lattice.
Sideways imaging of the superconducting vortex lattice.

Superconductors placed in a high-enough magnetic field spontaneously form an array of flux tubes, known as the Abrikosov vortex lattice. Physicists have used a scanning tunneling microscope at sub-Kelvin temperatures to uncover a vortex lattice that is buried deep beneath the surface of a crystal. The technique makes it possible to study vortices from a new perspective.

Related Abstract

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Journalists wishing to reproduce this image for news stories about related research should include the following image credit: Igor Fridman and John Y.T. Wei, University of Toronto and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.