Strong Meissner screening change in superconducting radio frequency cavities due to mild baking

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Romanenko, A. ; Grassellino, A. ; Barkov, F. ; Suter, A. ; Salman, Z. ; Prokscha, T. (2013)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1063/1.4866013
  • Subject: Physics - Accelerator Physics | Condensed Matter - Superconductivity
    arxiv: Physics::Accelerator Physics | Condensed Matter::Superconductivity

We investigate "hot" regions with anomalous high field dissipation in bulk niobium superconducting radio frequency cavities for particle accelerators by using low energy muon spin rotation (LE-$\mu$SR) on corresponding cavity cutouts. We demonstrate that superconducting properties at the hot region are well described by the non-local Pippard/BCS model for niobium in the clean limit with a London penetration depth $\lambda_\mathrm{L} = 23 \pm 2$ nm. In contrast, a cutout sample from the 120$^\circ$C baked cavity shows a much larger $\lambda > 100$ nm and a depth dependent mean free path, likely due to gradient in vacancy concentration. We suggest that these vacancies can efficiently trap hydrogen and hence prevent the formation of hydrides responsible for rf losses in hot regions.
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