Scanning SQUID Microscope for Studying Vortex Matter in Type-II Superconductors
Common methods of local magnetic imaging display either a high spatial resolution and relatively poor field sensitivity (MFM, Lorentz microscopy), or a relatively high field sensitivity but limited spatial resolution (scanning SQUID microscopy). Since the magnetic field of a nanoparticle or nanostructure decays rapidly with distance from the structure, the achievable spatial resolution is ultimately limited by the probe-sample separation. This thesis presents a novel method for fabricating the smallest superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) that resides on the apex of a very sharp tip. The nanoSQUID-on-tip displays a characteristic size down to 100 nm and a field sensitivity of 10^-3 Gauss/Hz^(1/2). A scanning SQUID microsope was constructed by gluing the nanoSQUID-on-tip to a quartz tuning-fork. This enabled the nanoSQUID to be scanned within nanometers of the sample surface, providing simultaneous images of sample topography and the magnetic field distribution. This microscope represents a significant improvement over the existing scanning SQUID techniques and is expected to be able to image the spin of a single electron.
Reports on a significant advance in the technology of scanning SQUID techniques for imaging magnetic structures Method has the potential to image individual electron spins Nominated as an outstanding contribution by the Weizmann Institute of Science