From Order to Disorder in High Temperature Superconductors

University dissertation from Stockholm : Fysik

Author: Anders Vestergren; Kth.; [2004]

Keywords: physics; condensed matter;

Abstract: Phase transitions in a number of models related to hightemperature superconductors are investigated, using scalingmethods and Monte Carlo simulations. This thesis considers twomain topics.The first topic is phase transitions, phase diagrams, andvortex motion in high temperature superconductors at finitetemperature, subject to magnetic fields and disorder. We studya vortex glass model at finite temperature, with stronguncorrelated vortex pinning and a magnetic field. We find thatthe vortex glass exists at finite temperature and calculate thecritical exponents of the transition. We also investigate hightemperature superconductors with columnar disorder in zero andapplied magnetic fields. Some of these studies are alsorelevant for the superfluid to Mott insulator transition ofbosons in two dimensions. We find that the unscreened Boseglass transition belongs to a new universality class. Wecalculate the critical exponents of the superconductingtransition with columnar defects in zero applied magneticfield. The transverse Meissner transition is studied, and wefind an exotic universality class with a correlation volumethat is infinitely anisotropic in all directions.The second topic is confinement-deconfinement transitions incompact Abelian Higgs models. We develop a new order parameter,related to a large Wilson loop for fractionalized charges, anduse it to study the concept of topological order. Thesetransitions may be relevant for strongly correlated electronsin two dimensions.