Summary: Equilibration and Dynamic Phase Transitions of a Driven Vortex Lattice
Z. L. Xiao and E. Y. Andrei
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854
P. Shuk and M. Greenblatt
Department of Chemistry, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854
We report on the observation of two types of current driven transitions in metastable vortex lattices.
The metastable states, which are missed in usual slow transport measurements, are detected with a
fast transport technique in both field-cooled and zero-field-cooled vortex lattices in pure 2H-NbSe2.
The transitions are seen by following the evolution of these states when driven by a current. At low
velocities we observe an equilibration transition from a metastable to a stable state, followed by a
dynamic crystallization transition at high velocities.
PACS numbers: 74.60.Ge 74.60.Jg 74.60Ec
The question of how a system explores its phase space
in the absence of thermal fluctuations arises whenever
slow dynamics leads to trapping in metastable states.
Well known examples are granular materials, glasses and
magnetic vortices in type II superconductors . Here
we present experiments that show that in the latter case
a driving current plays the key role in phase space explo-