The magnetic field and temperature dependencies of the magnetic moments of superconducting crystals of V3Si have been studied. In a constant magnetic field and at temperatures somewhat below the superconducting transition temperature, the moments are hysteretic in temperature. However, the magnetic moment-magnetic field isotherms are reversible and exhibit features that formally resemble the pressure-volume isotherms of the liquid-gas transition. This suggests the existence of a first-order phase transition, a two-phase regime, and a critical point in the superconducting phase diagram. The two phases are disordered vortex configurations with the same magnetization, but with different vortex densities. The entropy change, determined from the data using the Clausius-Clapeyron equation, is consistent with estimates based on the difference in the vortex densities of the two phases.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported by the Condensed Matter Physics Program of the National Science Foundation under grant NSF/DMR-0138209.
- Phase diagram
- Type-II superconductors