Affordable Access

A Bragg glass phase in the vortex lattice of a type II superconductor.

Authors
  • Klein, T
  • Joumard, I
  • Blanchard, S
  • Marcus, J
  • Cubitt, R
  • Giamarchi, T
  • Le Doussal, P
Type
Published Article
Journal
Nature
Publication Date
Sep 27, 2001
Volume
413
Issue
6854
Pages
404–406
Identifiers
PMID: 11574883
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Although crystals are usually quite stable, they are sensitive to a disordered environment: even an infinitesimal amount of impurities can lead to the destruction of crystalline order. The resulting state of matter has been a long-standing puzzle. Until recently it was believed to be an amorphous state in which the crystal would break into 'crystallites'. But a different theory predicts the existence of a novel phase of matter: the so-called Bragg glass, which is a glass and yet nearly as ordered as a perfect crystal. The 'lattice' of vortices that contain magnetic flux in type II superconductors provide a good system to investigate these ideas. Here we show that neutron-diffraction data of the vortex lattice provides unambiguous evidence for a weak, power-law decay of the crystalline order characteristic of a Bragg glass. The theory also predicts accurately the electrical transport properties of superconductors; it naturally explains the observed phase transitions and the dramatic jumps in the critical current associated with the melting of the Bragg glass. Moreover, the model explains experiments as diverse as X-ray scattering in disordered liquid crystals and the conductivity of electronic crystals.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times