Thursday, July 11, 2013

1307.2881 (J. Trastoy et al.)

Freezing and melting of vortex ice    [PDF]

J. Trastoy, M. Malnou, C. Ulysse, R. Bernard, N. Bergeal, G. Faini, J. Lesueur, J. Briatico, Javier E. Villegas
We report on the realization of artificial ice using superconducting vortices in geometrically frustrated pinning arrays. This vortex ice shows two unique properties among artificial ice systems. The first comes from the possibility to switch the array geometric frustration on/off through temperature variations, which allows "freezing" and "melting" the vortex ice. The second is that the depinning and dynamics of the frozen vortex ice are insensitive to annealing, which implies that the ordered ground state is spontaneously approached. The major role of thermal fluctuations and the strong vortex-vortex interactions are at the origin of this unusual behavior.
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