Extruding the vortex lattice: two reacting populations of dislocations

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A controllable soft solid is realised in vortex matter in a type II superconductor. The two-dimensional unit cell area can be varied by a factor of 104 in the solid phase, without a change of crystal symmetry offering easy exploration of extreme regimes compared to ordinary materials. The capacity to confine two-dimensional vortex matter to mesoscopic regions provides an arena for the largely unexplored metallurgy of plastic deformation at large density gradients. Our simulations reveal a novel plastic flow mechanism in this driven non-equilibrium system, utilising two distinct, but strongly interacting, populations of dislocations. One population facilitates the relaxation of density; a second aids the relaxation of shear stresses concentrated at the boundaries. The disparity of the bulk and shear moduli in vortex matter ensures the dislocation motion follows the overall continuum flow reflecting density variation.


Original languageEnglish
Article number16002
JournalEurophysics Letters
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2019