Journal of Superconductivity vol:14 issue:2 pages:355-364
Lateral nanostructuring is an efficient tool to control vortex confinement in superconductors. This will be illustrated by studying pinning phenomena in type-II superconducting Pb films with a lattice of submicron magnetic dots. We consider rectangular Co dots with in-plane magnetization and circular Co/Pt dots with out-of-plane magnetization. The domain structure of the Co dots can be changed from multi- to single-domain. resulting in an enhancement of their stray field. After covering this Co dot array with a Pb film, we demonstrate the influence of the local magnetic stray field of the dots on their flux pinning efficiency. The Go/Pt dots have a single-domain structure with their magnetic moment out of plane. Depending on the magnetic history, the magnetic moment of all dots can be aligned in positive or negative direction, or a random distribution of positive and negative magnetic moments of the dots can be achieved. For a Pb film covering this CoiPt dot array, we observe an asymmetric magnetization loop due to the magnetic interactions between the vortices and the magnetic dots.