Second Magnetization Peak at Low Fields due to Thermomagnetic Flux-Jump Instability

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Magnetization measurements performed on a Nb thin film have revealed the existence of a “second magnetization peak” (SMP) well below the upper critical field boundary Hc2(T). The results of this work provide clear evidence that the SMP originates from a thermomagnetic flux-jump instability. The similarity of the magnetization loops measured in Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8 high-Tc superconducting crystals to those in Nb, as well as their dependence on the crystal size and field step indicate that a common mechanism is responsible for the SMP in these superconductors.

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