We have studied the voltage response of superconducting NbTiN filaments to a step-pulse of over-critical current I > Ic. The current induces the destruction of the Cooper pairs and initiates different mechanisms of dissipation depending on the bath temperature T. For the sample investigated, and for T above a certain T∗, not far from Tc, the resistance manifests itself in the form of a phase-slip center, which turns into a normal hot spot (HS) as the step-pulse is given larger amplitudes. However, at all temperatures below T∗, the destruction of superconductivity still occurs at Ic(T), but leads directly to an ever-growing HS. By lowering the current amplitude during the pulse, one can produce a steady HS and thus define a threshold HS current Ih(T). That is achieved by combining two levels of current, the first and larger one to initiate an HS, the second one to search for constant voltage response. The double diagram of the functions Ic(T) and Ih(T) was plotted in the T-range Tc/2 < T < Tc, and their crossing found at T∗ = (8.07 ± 0.07) K.
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (all)