Whatever happened to Mott?

L. E. De Long, V. V. Metlushko, S. Kryukov, M. Yun, S. Lokhre, V. V. Moshchalkov, Y. Bruynseraede

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In the case of randomly placed ion damage tracks in a bulk superconductor, theories suggest that increasing the applied field beyond the "saturation field" Hs should result in a single, sharp depinning transition (analogous to the Mott-Hubbard metal-insulating transition) accompanied by an abrupt decrease in magnetic hysteresis and critical current density Jc, and increased dissipation by an interstitial flux line (IFL) liquid phase. However, in the case of thin film patterned with an ordered lattice of artificial pinning centers (APC), anomalies in hysteresis and dissipation are observed at multiple "matching fields" nHn=1<Hs, where n≤s is a positive integer. Unexpected matching anomalies observed at "supermatching fields" (n>s), signal the existence of several ordered IFL lattice phases, rather than a simple IFL liquid phase. The relationship of such multiple anomalies to a possible Mott transition is an open question. We discuss the effects of temperature, applied DC field and field/film-plane angle on the mobility and non-linear dynamics of flux lines in a patterned thin film. We show how sensitive AC susceptibility measurements performed at variable electromagnetic drive and frequency address fundamental questions concerning the existence of the Mott transition and the conditions for melting of the IFL lattice and depinning of multiquantum fluxoids contained at the APC; and we review the serious experimental difficulties in distinguishing equilibrium versus dynamic depinning phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-124
Number of pages7
JournalPhysica C: Superconductivity and its Applications
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Mar 15 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research at University of Kentucky and University of Illinois-Chicago funded by US Department of Energy Office of Science, Materials Sciences Division Grant #DE-FG-02-97ER45653. Research at K. U. Leuven funded by Flemish Fund for Scientific Research and the European Science Foundation.


  • Antidot lattice
  • Superconductivity
  • Thin films
  • Vortex glass
  • Vortex pinning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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