Avalanches and Self-Organized Criticality in superconductors
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Faculty of Sciences, Free University, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Corresponding author: a firstname.lastname@example.org
Revised: 22 November 2005
Published online: 20 February 2006
We review the use of superconductors as a playground for the experimental study of front roughening and avalanches. Using the magneto-optical technique, the spatial distribution of the vortex density in the sample is monitored as a function of time. The roughness and growth exponents corresponding to the vortex `landscape' are determined and compared to the exponents that characterize the avalanches in the framework of Self-Organized Criticality. For those situations where a thermo-magnetic instability arises, an analytical non-linear and non-local model is discussed, which is found to be consistent to great detail with the experimental results. On anisotropic substrates, the anisotropy regularizes the avalanches.
PACS: 05.65.+b – Self-organized systems / 74.25.Fy – Transport properties (electric and thermal conductivity, thermoelectric effects, etc.) / 74.25.Qt – Vortex lattices, flux pinning, flux creep
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2006