Minimizers of the Lawrence–Doniach Functional with Oblique Magnetic Fields Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We study minimizers of the Lawrence--Doniach energy, which describes equilibrium states of superconductors with layered structure, assuming Floquet-periodic boundary conditions. Specifically, we consider the effect of a constant magnetic field applied obliquely to the superconducting planes in the limit as both the layer spacing $s\to 0$ and the Ginzburg--Landau parameter $\kappa=\eps^{-1}\to\infty$, under the hypotheses that $s=\eps^\alpha$ with $0<\alpha<1$. By deriving sharp matching upper and lower bounds on the energy of minimizers, we determine the lower critical field and the orientation of the flux lattice, to leading order in the parameter $\eps$. To leading order, the induced field is characterized by a convex minimization problem in $\RR^3$. We observe a ``flux lock-in transition'', in which flux lines are pinned to the horizontal direction for applied fields of small inclination, and which is not present in minimizers of the anisotropic Ginzburg--Landau model. The energy profile we obtain suggests the presence of ``staircase vortices'', which have been described qualitatively in the physics literature.

publication date

  • February 2012