Nonequilibrium structural phase transitions of the vortex lattice in MgB2

Louden, E. R.; Rastovski, C.; DeBeer-Schmitt, L.; Dewhurst, C. D.; Zhigadlo, N. D.; Eskildsen, M. R. (2019). Nonequilibrium structural phase transitions of the vortex lattice in MgB2. Physical review. B - condensed matter and materials physics, 99(14) American Physical Society 10.1103/PhysRevB.99.144515

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We have studied nonequilibrium phase transitions in the vortex lattice in superconducting MgB2, where metastable states are observed in connection with an intrinsically continuous rotation transition. Using small-angle neutron scattering and a stop-motion technique, we investigated the manner in which the metastable vortex lattice returns to the equilibrium state under the influence of an ac magnetic field. This shows a qualitative difference between the supercooled case which undergoes a discontinuous transition and the superheated case where the transition to the equilibrium state is continuous. In both cases, the transition may be described by an activated process, with an activation barrier that increases as the metastable state is suppressed, as previously reported for the supercooled vortex lattice [Louden et al., Phys. Rev. B 99, 060502(R) (2019).] Separate preparations of superheated metastable vortex lattices with different domain populations showed an identical transition toward the equilibrium state. This provides further evidence that the vortex lattice metastability, and the kinetics associated with the transition to the equilibrium state, is governed by nucleation and growth of domains and the associated domain boundaries.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Departement of Chemistry and Biochemistry

UniBE Contributor:

Zhigadlo, Nikolai


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




American Physical Society




Franziska Bornhauser-Rufer

Date Deposited:

27 Feb 2020 10:14

Last Modified:

27 Feb 2020 10:14

Publisher DOI:





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