Current Applied Physics, Vol.22, 14-19, 2021
Effects of surface damage on critical current density in MgB2 thin films
We investigated the influence of surface damage on the critical current density (J(c)) of MgB2 thin films via 140keV Co-ion irradiation. The J(c)(H) of the surface-damaged MgB2 films was remarkably improved in comparison with that of pristine films. The strong enhancement of J(c)(H) caused by a surface damage in MgB2 films can be ascribed to additional point defects along with an atomic lattice displacement introduced through low-energy Co-ion irradiation, which is consistent with the change in the pinning mechanism, from weak collective pinning to strong plastic pinning. The irreversible magnetic field (H-irr) at 5 K for surface-damaged MgB2 films with a thickness of 850 and 1300 nm was increased by a factor of approximately 2 compared with that of a pristine film. These results show that the surface damage produced by low energy ion irradiation can serve as an effective pinning source to improve J(c)(H) in a MgB2 superconductor.