Universality classes for line-depinning transitions

Eugene B. Kolomeisky, Joseph P. Straley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The universality classes and exact critical singularities for line-depinning transitions in a space of d transverse dimensions are determined using a renormalization method. Pinning potentials that fall off faster with distance than 1/r2 lead to nontrivial first-order phase transitions above the upper critical dimensionality d=4, and to second-order transitions for d<4. For d=2 the free-energy density has an essential singularity of the form exp(-1/τ), were τ is the thermal scaling field. The next-nearest corrections to the free energy will be calculated for the case where the long-range part of the pinning potential decays faster than 1/r2. Pinning potentials containing an inverse square tail can give rise to a nontrivial first-order phase transition above an upper critical dimension, second-order transitions with nonuniversal exponents, or Kosterlitz-Thouless-like transitions with a multicritical point between the last two regimes, depending on the strength of the interaction. Attractive pinning potentials decaying slower than 1/r2 prevent depinning transitions at finite temperature, whereas repulsive ones in the presence of short-range attraction lead to first-order transitions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12664-12674
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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