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Physics  2009 

Switching and Jamming Transistor Effect for Vortex Matter in Honeycomb Pinning Arrays with ac Drives

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.81.024510

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Abstract:

We show that a remarkable variety of dynamical phenomena, including switching, polarization, symmetry locking, and dynamically induced pinning, can occur for vortices in type-II superconductors in the presence of a honeycomb pinning array and an ac or combined ac and dc drive. These effects occur at the second matching field where there are two vortices per pinning site, and arise due to the formation of vortex dimer states in the interstitial regions of the honeycomb array. The orientation of the pinned and moving vortex dimers can be controlled externally by the application of a drive. We term this a polarization effect and demonstrate that it can lock or unlock the vortex motion into different symmetry directions of the underlying pinning lattice. If the moving vortices are locked into one direction, the motion can be switched into a different direction by applying an additional bias drive, producing sharp jumps in the transverse and longitudinal velocities. Further, the dc vortex motion in one direction can be controlled directly by application of a force in the perpendicular direction. When the moving dimers reorient, we find a remarkable dynamical pinning effect in which the dimers jam when they become perpendicular to the easy flow direction of the pinning lattice. Since application of an external field can be used to switch off the vortex flow, we term this a jamming transistor effect. These effects do not occur in triangular pinning arrays due to the lack of the n-merization of the vortices in this case. The switching and dynamical pinning effects demonstrated here may be useful for the creation of new types of fluxtronic devices.

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