Volume 80, Number 4, November 2007
Article Number 46003
Number of page(s) 6
Section Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties
Published online 25 October 2007
EPL, 80 (2007) 46003
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/80/46003

Half quantum vortex in superfluid 3He-A phase in parallel-plate geometry

H.-Y. Kee1 and K. Maki2

1  Department of Physics, University of Toronto - Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A7, Canada
2  Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA 90089-0484, USA

received 11 June 2007; accepted in final form 21 September 2007; published November 2007
published online 25 October 2007

The half quantum vortex (HQV) in condensates has been studied, since it was predicted by Volovik and Mineev, and independently by Cross and Brinkman in superfluid 3He-A phase. However, no experimental evidence for its existence has been reported until recently. Motivated by a recent experimental report by Yamashita et al. (AIP Conf. Proc., 850 (2006) 185; private communication) we study the HQVs in superfluid 3He confined between two parallel plates with a gap D ~ 10 $\mu$m in the presence of a magnetic field H ~ 26 mT perpendicular to the parallel plates. We find that the bound HQVs are more stable than the singular vortices and free pairs of HQVs, when the rotation perpendicular to the parallel plates is below the critical speed, $\Omega _{c}$ = 2 ~ 12 rad/s, if the magentic healing length, $\xi _{H}$ is about 2 - 5 $\mu$m. The bound pair of HQVs accompanies the tilting of ${\hat d}$-vector out of the plane, which leads to an additional absorption in NMR spectra. Our study appears to describe the temperature and rotation dependence of the observed satellite NMR signal, which supports the existence of the HQVs in 3He.

67.57.-z - Superfluid phase of liquid 3He.
67.57.Fg - Textures and vortices.
67.57.Lm - Spin dynamics.

© Europhysics Letters Association 2007