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Vortices in superconductors driven at microwave frequencies exhibit a response related to the interplay between the vortex viscosity, pinning strength, and flux creep effects. At the same time, the trapping of vortices in superconducting microwave resonant circuits contributes excess loss and can result in substantial reductions in the quality factor. Thus, understanding the microwave vortex response in superconducting thin films is important for the design of such circuits, including superconducting qubits and photon detectors, which are typically operated in small, but non-zero, magnetic fields. By cooling in fields of the order of 100 $\mu$T and below, we have characterized the magnetic field and frequency dependence of the microwave response of a small density of vortices in resonators fabricated from thin films of Re and Al, which are common materials used in superconducting microwave circuits. Above a certain threshold cooling field, which is different for the Re and Al films, vortices become trapped in the resonators. Vortices in the Al resonators contribute greater loss and are influenced more strongly by flux creep effects than in the Re resonators. This different behavior can be described in the framework of a general vortex dynamics model.

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Published in Physical Review B 79,174512(2009); preprint version with higher resolution figures available at this http URL More information at

First author and SU author listed for additional authors see the article.


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