Europhys. Lett.
Volume 67, Number 4, August 2004
Page(s) 655 - 661
Section Condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties
Published online 01 August 2004
Europhys. Lett., 67 (4), pp. 655-661 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10093-9

Peak effect and surface crystal-glass transition for surface-pinned vortex array

B. Plaçais1, N. Lütke-Entrup1, J. Bellessa1, P. Mathieu1, Y. Simon1 and E. B. Sonin2

1  Laboratoire Pierre Aigrain, Département de Physique de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure 24 rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris, France
2  Racah Institute of Physics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Jerusalem 91904, Israel

(Received 5 March 2004; accepted in final form 7 June 2004)

We present a theoretical and experimental study of the peak effect in the surface pinning of vortices. It is associated with a sharp transition in the vortex slippage length which we relate to a crossover from a weakly disordered crystal to a surface glass state. Experiments are performed on ion-beam-etched $\chem{Nb}$ crystals. The slippage length is deduced from 1 $\un{kHz}$-1 $\un{MHz}$ linear AC penetration depth measurements.

74.25.Qt - Vortex lattices, flux pinning, flux creep.
64.60.Cn - Order-isorder transformations; statistical mechanics of model systems.

© EDP Sciences 2004