Decoupled two-dimensional superconductivity and continuous melting transitions in layered superconductors immersed in a parallel magnetic field

Xiao Hu, Masashi Tachiki
2004 Physical Review B  
Possible phases and the B-T phase diagram of interlayer Josephson vortices induced by a magnetic field parallel to the superconducting layers are investigated by Monte Carlo simulations based on the anisotropic, frustrated XY model. While for low magnetic fields and small anisotropy parameters a single first-order transition is observed similarly to the melting of Abrikosov (or pancake) vortex lattice, an intermediate phase, characterized by decoupled, two-dimensional (2D) quasi long-range
more » ... alline order (QLRCO) and superconductivity, is found at high magnetic fields and large anisotropy parameters. Combining the simulation results with a symmetry argument, it is revealed that this intermediate phase is of Kosterlitz-Thouless (KT) type, and the melting of 2D quasi Josephson vortex lattices and suppression of superconductivity is a KT transition. Evolution of the intermediate phase to the low-temperature phase of 3D LRCO is second order and belongs to the 3D XY universality class. The three phase boundaries merge at a multicritical point. It is revealed that decoupling of the 3D Josephson vortex lattice into the 2D phase is triggered by hops of Josephson flux lines across superconducting layers activated by thermal fluctuations. The equilibrium phase diagram with the KT phase at high magnetic fields and large anisotropy parameters is consistent with the peculiar Lorentz-force-independent dissipation observed in highly anisotropic high-Tc superconductor Bi2Sr2CaCu2O(8+y) by Iye et al. (Physica 159C, 433 (1989)).
doi:10.1103/physrevb.70.064506 fatcat:t27l24nvevhx7b4wl6bghuoegi