The diversity of flux avalanche patterns in superconducting films
The variety of morphologies in flux patterns created by thermomagnetic dendritic avalanches in type-II superconducting films is investigated using numerical simulations. The avalanches are triggered by introducing a hot spot at the edge of a strip-shaped sample, which is initially prepared in a partially penetrated Bean critical state by slowly ramping the transversely applied magnetic field. The simulation scheme is based on a model accounting for the nonlinear and nonlocal electrodynamics of superconductors in the transverse geometry. By systematically varying the parameters representing the Joule heating, heat conduction in the film, and heat transfer to the substrate, a wide variety of avalanche patterns are formed, and quantitative characterizations of the areal extension, branch width etc are made. The results show that branching is suppressed by the lateral heat diffusion, while large Joule heating gives many branches, and heat removal into the substrate limits the areal size. The morphology shows significant dependence also on the initial flux penetration depth. 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.