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Aragón Sánchez, J., R. Cortés Maldonado, N. R. Cejas Bolecek, G. Rumi, P. Pedrazzini, M. I. Dolz, G. Nieva, C. J. van der Beek, M. Konczykowski, C. D. Dewhurst et al. "Unveiling the vortex glass phase in the surface and volume of a type-II superconductor." Communications Physics 2, no. 1 (2019): 143.
Abstract: Order-disorder transitions between glassy phases are common in nature and yet a comprehensive survey on the entailed structural changes is challenging since the constituents are in the micro-scale. Vortex matter in type-II superconductors is a model system where some of these experimental challenges can be tackled. Samples with point disorder present a glassy transition on increasing the density of vortices. A glassy yet quasi-crystalline phase, the Bragg glass, nucleates at low densities. The vortex glass stable at high densities is expected to be disordered, however its detailed structural properties remained experimentally elusive. Here we show that the vortex glass has large crystallites with in-plane positional displacements growing algebraically and short-range orientational order. Furthermore, the vortex glass has a finite and almost constant correlation length along the direction of vortices, in sharp contrast with strong entanglement. These results are important for the understanding of disorder-driven phase transitions in glassy condensed matter.
Rumi, G., L. J. Albornoz, P. Pedrazzini, M. I. Dolz, H. Pastoriza, C. J. van der Beek, M. Konczykowski, and Y. Fasano. "Entropy jump at the first-order vortex phase transition in Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+Î´ with columnar defects." Materials Today: Proceedings 14 (2019): 30–33.
Abstract: We study the entropy jump associated with the first-order vortex melting transition (FOT) in Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+Î´ crystals by means of Hall probe magnetometry. The samples present a diluted distribution of columnar defects (CD) introduced by irradiation with Xe ions. The FOT is detected in ac transmittivity measurements as a paramagnetic peak, the height of which is proportional to the enthalpy difference entailed by the transition. By applying the Clausius-Clapeyron relation, we quantify the evolution of the entropy jump Î”s as a function of the FOT temperature, TFOT, in both pristine crystals and crystals with CD. On increasing the density of CD, Î”s decreases monotonically with respect to values found in pristine samples. The Î”s versus TFOT dependence in the case of pristine samples follows reasonably well the theoretical prediction of dominant electromagnetic coupling for a model neglecting the effect of disorder. The data for samples with a diluted distribution of CD are not properly described by such a theoretical model.
Carreras Oropesa, W. G., S. Encina, P. Pedrazzini, V. F. Correa, J. G. Sereni, V. Vildosola, García D.J., and P. S. Cornaglia. "Minimal model for the magnetic phase diagram of CeTi1-xScxGe, GdFe1-xCoxSi, and related materials." Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 503 (2020): 166614.
Abstract: We present a theoretical analysis of the magnetic phase diagram of CeTi1-xScxGe and GdFe1-xCoxSi as a function
of the temperature and the Sc and Co concentration x, respectively. CeScGe and GdCoSi, as many other RTX
(R=rare earth, T=transition metal, X=p-block element) compounds, present a tetragonal crystal structure
where bilayers of R are separated by layers of T and X. While GdFeSi and CeTi0.75Sc0.25Ge are ferromagnetic,
CeScGe and GdCoSi order antiferromagnetically with the R 4f magnetic moments on the same bilayer aligned
ferromagnetically and magnetic moments in nearest neighbouring bilayers aligned antiferromagnetically. The
antiferromagnetic transition temperature TN decreases with decreasing concentration x in both compounds and
for low enough values of x the compounds show a ferromagnetic behavior. Based on these observations we
construct a simplified model Hamiltonian that we solve numerically for the specific heat and the magnetization.
We find a good qualitative agreement between the model and the experimental data. Our results show that the
main magnetic effect of the Sc→Ti and Co→Fe substitution in these compounds is consistent with a change in
the sign of the exchange coupling between magnetic moments in neighbouring bilayers. We expect a similar
phenomenology for other magnetic RTX compounds with the same type of crystal structure.
Sanchez, J. A., G. Rumi, R. C. Maldonado, N. R. C. Bolecek, J. Puig, P. Pedrazzini, G. Nieva, M. I. Dolz, M. Konczykowski, C. J. van der Beek et al. "Non-Gaussian tail in the force distribution: a hallmark of correlated disorder in the host media of elastic objects." Scientific Reports 10, no. 1 (2020): 19452.
Abstract: Inferring the nature of disorder in the media where elastic objects are nucleated is of crucial importance for many applications but remains a challenging basic-science problem. Here we propose a method to discern whether weak-point or strong-correlated disorder dominates based on characterizing the distribution of the interaction forces between objects mapped in large fields-of-view. We illustrate our proposal with the case-study system of vortex structures nucleated in type-II superconductors with different pinning landscapes. Interaction force distributions are computed from individual vortex positions imaged in thousands-vortices fields-of-view in a two-orders-of-magnitude-wide vortex-density range. Vortex structures nucleated in point-disordered media present Gaussian distributions of the interaction force components. In contrast, if the media have dilute and randomly-distributed correlated disorder, these distributions present non-Gaussian algebraically-decaying tails for large force magnitudes. We propose that detecting this deviation from the Gaussian behavior is a fingerprint of strong disorder, in our case originated from a dilute distribution of correlated pinning centers.
Tolosa, M. R., M. J. Jimenez, P. Pedrazzini, C. Arreguez, L. P. Acosta, A. Gomez, M. S. Granovsky, H. Brizuela, D. Arias, and N. Nieva. "Stability of the Fe23Zr6 phase in Zr alloys." Revista SAM 1 (2021): 1.
Abstract: Alloyed with iron (Fe), niobium (Nb) and tin (Sn), zirconium (Zr) is the main element in the Zirlo-type alloys, vastly used as structural elements and as containers of burnable elements in nuclear reactors. Although Zr is a major component in this type of alloys, it is most important to know the phase diagrams of their components as well as possible. The binary phase diagram of the Fe-Zr system has been studied for some time now by several authors. However, in the Fe-rich region the existence of the Fe23Zr6 compound, which was first described in 1962, remains controversial. To clarify the origin of this phase, the present work deals with the manufacture and prolonged heat treatments at different temperatures of alloys located in the Fe-rich region of the Fe-Nb-Zr, Fe-Sn-Zr and Fe-Zr phase diagram. The experiments have been performed with raw materials whose degree of purity was varied. The phases present were identified by using X-ray diffraction (XRD), semiquantitative microanalysis by using scanning electron microscopy analysis with energy dispersive spectrometry (SEM-EDS) and quantitative microanalysis by using electron microprobe with wavelength dispersive spectrometry (SEM-WDS). Finally, by using the results of characterization of heat-treated alloys for long annealing times at different temperatures, it is suggested that the presence of the Fe23Zr6 compound is an equilibrium phase of the Fe-Zr binary system.