Pinning of Flux Lines by Planar Defects

Aleksandra Petkovic 1, Thorsten Emig 1, 2, Thomas Nattermann 1

Physical Review B 79, 22 (2009) 224512

The influence of randomly distributed point impurities and planar defects on order and transport in type-II superconductors and related systems is studied. It is shown that the Bragg glass phase is unstable with respect to planar efects. Even a single weak defect plane oriented parallel to the magnetic field as well as to one of the main axis of the Abrikosov flux line lattice is a relevant perturbation in the Bragg glass. A defect that is aligned with the magnetic field restores the flux density oscillations which decay algebraically with the distance from the defect. The theory exhibits striking similarities to the physics of a Luttinger liquid with a frozen impurity. The exponent for the flux line creep in the direction perpendicular to a relevant defect is derived. We find that the flux line lattice exhibits in the presence of many randomly distributed parallel planar defects aligned to the magnetic field a new glassy phase which we call planar glass. The planar glass is characterized by diverging shear and tilt moduli, a transverse Meissner effect, resistance against shear deformations. We also obtain sample to sample fluctuations of the longitudinal magnetic susceptibility and an exponential decay of translational long range order in the direction perpendicular to the defects. The flux creep perpendicular to the defects leads to a nonlinear resistivity $\rho(J \to 0)\sim \exp[-(J_D/J)^{3/2}]$. Strong planar defects enforce arrays of dislocations that are located at the defects with a Burgers vector parallel to the defects in order to relax shear strain.

  • 1. Institut für Theoretische Physik,
    Universität zu Köln
  • 2. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud