Volume 92, Number 2, October 2010
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties|
|Published online||16 November 2010|
Phase transitions driven by competing interactions in low-dimensional systems
Institute of Physical Chemistry, University of Innsbruck - Innsbruck, Austria, EU
2 Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna - Vienna, Austria, EU
3 Institute of Applied Physics, Vienna University of Technology - Vienna, Austria, EU
4 Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences Innsbruck, Austria, EU
Accepted: 11 October 2010
Variable-temperature scanning tunnelling microscopy is used to study an order-order phase transition in a virtually defect-free quasi–one-dimensional surface system. The phase transition is driven by competing electronic interactions. The phase diagram is captured by a modified Landau formalism containing a coupling term between two different subsystems. The extra term has the effect of a spontaneously generated field which drives the phase transition. The proposed formalism applies to a variety of problems, where competing interactions produce sometimes counter-intuitive ordering phenomena.
PACS: 64.60.Bd – General theory of phase transitions / 64.70.Nd – Structural transitions in nanoscale materials / 68.37.Ef – Scanning tunneling microscopy (including chemistry induced with STM)
© EPLA, 2010
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