High-field critical current enhancement by irradiation induced correlated and random defects in (Ba0.6K0.4)Fe2As2

Mixed pinning landscapes in superconductors are emerging as an effective strategy to achieve high critical currents in high, applied magnetic fields. Here, we use heavy-ion and proton irradiation to create correlated and point defects to explore the vortex pinning behavior of each and combined constituent defects in the iron-based superconductor Ba0.6K0.4Fe2As2 and find that the pinning mechanisms are non-additive. The major effect of p-irradiation in mixed pinning landscapes is the generation of field-independent critical currents in very high fields. At 7 T ‖ c and 5 K, the critical current density exceeds 5 MA/cm2.