The controlled motion of objects through narrow channels is important in many fields. We have fabricated asymmetric weak-pinning channels in a superconducting thin-film strip for controlling the dynamics of vortices. The lack of pinning allows the vortices to move through the channels with the dominant interaction determined by the shape of the channel walls. We present measurements of vortex dynamics in the channels and compare these with similar measurements on a set of uniform-width channels. While the uniform-width channels exhibit a symmetric response for both directions through the channel, the vortex motion through the asymmetric channels is quite different, with substantial asymmetries in both the static depinning and dynamic flux flow. This vortex ratchet effect has a rich dependence on magnetic field and driving force amplitude.
Plourde, Britton; Heitmann, T. W.; Song, C.; DeFeo, M. P.; and Yu, Kang, "Asymmetric Weak-Pinning Superconducting Channels: Vortex Ratchets" (2007). Physics. Paper 129.
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