Volume 81, Number 2, January 2008
Article Number 26005
Number of page(s) 6
Section Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties
Published online 07 December 2007
EPL, 81 (2008) 26005
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/81/26005

Thermal rounding of the depinning transition

S. Bustingorry1, A. B. Kolton2 and T. Giamarchi1

1  DPMC-MaNEP, University of Geneva - 24 Quai Ernest Ansermet, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland
2  Departamento de Física Atómica, Molecular y Nuclear, Universidad Complutense de Madrid 28040 Madrid, Spain

received 3 July 2007; accepted in final form 13 November 2007; published January 2008
published online 7 December 2007

We study thermal effects at the depinning transition by numerical simulations of driven one-dimensional elastic interfaces in a disordered medium. We find that the velocity of the interface, evaluated at the critical depinning force, can be correctly described with the power law $v\sim T^{\psi}$, where $\psi $ is the thermal exponent. Using the sample-dependent value of the critical force, we precisely evaluate the value of $\psi $ directly from the temperature dependence of the velocity, obtaining the value $\psi $ = 0.15 $\pm$ 0.01. By measuring the structure factor of the interface we show that both the thermally rounded and the T = 0 depinning, display the same large-scale geometry, described by an identical divergence of a characteristic length with the velocity $\xi \propto v^{-\nu /\beta }$, where $\nu $ and $\beta $ are, respectively, the T = 0 correlation and depinning exponents. We discuss the comparison of our results with previous estimates of the thermal exponent and the direct consequences for recent experiments on magnetic domain wall motion in ferromagnetic thin films.

64.60.Ht - Dynamic critical phenomena.
75.60.Ch - Domain walls and domain structure.
05.70.Ln - Nonequilibrium and irreversible thermodynamics.

© EPLA 2008