Anisotropic Magnetization of an NbN Film

Gokhfeld, D.M., Savitskaya, N.E., Popkov, S.I., (...), Vasyutin, M.A., Balaev, D.A.// Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics//

The structural and magnetic properties of a niobium nitride (NbN) film prepared by reactive sputtering onto a quartz substrate are investigated. It is shown using scanning electron microscopy that the film has a columnar structure with a diameter of crystallite columns of about 50 nm. The film magnetization loops are measured for the field orientation parallel and perpendicular to its surface. Based on the experimental data, the critical current densities of the film are estimated in both cases. For the field parallel to the film surface, the estimate is 6.5 × 104 A/cm2 at the liquid helium temperature. For the field perpendicular to the surface, the critical current density is close to the depairing current density (107 A/cm2). Analysis of the results based on different models of magnetic vortex pinning in superconductors shows that in the former case, pinning occurs at the boundaries of columns in the bulk of the sample, while in the latter case, it is determined by the influence of the surface barrier.