• S Ramakrishnan

Articles written in Pramana – Journal of Physics

• Segmented conjugated polymers

Segmented conjugated polymers, wherein the conjugation is randomly truncated by varying lengths of non-conjugated segments, form an interesting class of polymers as they not only represent systems of varying stiffness, but also ones where the backbone can be construed as being made up of chromophores of varying excitation energies. The latter feature, especially when the chromophores are fluorescent, like in MEHPPV, makes these systems particularly interesting from the photophysics point of view. Segmented MEHPPV-x samples, wherex represents the mole fraction of conjugated segments, were prepared by a novel approach that utilizes a suitable precursor wherein selective elimination of one of the two eliminatable groups is affected; the uneliminated units serve as conjugation truncations. Control of the compositionx of the precursor therefore permits one to prepare segmented MEHPPV-x samples with varying levels of conjugation (elimination). Using fluorescence spectroscopy, we have seen that even in single isolated polymer chains, energy migration from the shorter (higher energy) chromophores to longer (lower energy) ones occurs — the extent of which depends on the level of conjugation. Further, by varying the solvent composition, it is seen that the extent of energy transfer and the formation of poorly emissive inter-chromophore excitons are greatly enhanced with increasing amounts of non-solvent. A typical S-shaped curve represents the variation of emission yields as a function of composition suggestive of a cooperative collapse of the polymer coil, reminiscent of conformational transitions seen in biological macromolecules.

• Vortex phase diagram studies in the weakly pinned single crystals of YNi2B2C and LuNi2B2C

We present a study of magnetization measurements performed on the single crystals of YNi2B2C and LuNi2B2C. For both the compounds, we find flux jumps in magnetisation values in the respective field regions, where the structural transitions in the flux line lattice symmetry have been reported in these systems via the small angle neutron scattering experiments. The magnetisation hysteresis loops and the AC susceptibility measurements show pronounced peak effect as well as second magnetisation peak anomaly for both YNi2B2C and LuNi2B2C. Based on these results, a vortex phase diagram has been constructed for YNi2B2C forH∥c depicting different glassy phases of the vortex matter.

• Effect of pinning and driving force on the metastability effects in weakly pinned superconductors and the determination of spinodal line pertaining to order—disorder transition

We explore the effect of varying drive on metastability features exhibited by the vortex matter in single crystals of 2H-NbSe2 and CeRu2 with varying degree of random pinning. The metastable nature of vortex matter is reflected in the path dependence of the critical current density, which in turn is probed in a contact-less way via AC-susceptibility measurements. The sinusoidal AC magnetic field applied during AC susceptibility measurements appears to generate a driving force on the vortex matter. In a nascent pinned single crystal of 2H-NbSe2, where the peak effect (PE) pertaining to the order—disorder phenomenon is a sharp first-order-like transition, the supercooling feature below the peak temperature is easily wiped out by the reorganization caused by the AC driving force. In this paper, we elucidate the interplay between the drive and the pinning which can conspire to make the path-dependent AC-susceptibility response of different metastable vortex states appear identical. An optimal balance between the pinning and driving force is needed to view the metastability effects in typically weakly pinned specimen of low temperature superconductors. As one uses samples with larger pinning in order to differentiate the response of different metastable vortex states, one encounters a new phenomenon, viz., the second magnetization peak (SMP) anomaly prior to the PE. Supercooling/superheating can occur across both the PE and the SMP anomalies and both of these are known to display non-linear characteristics as well. Interplay between the path dependence in the critical current density and the non-linearity in the electromagnetic response determine the metastability effects seen in the first and the third harmonic response of the AC susceptibility across the temperature regions of the SMP and the PE. The limiting temperature above which metastability effects cease can be conveniently located in the third harmonic data, and the observed behavior can be rationalized within the Bean’s critical state model. A vortex phase diagram showing different vortex phases for a typically weakly pinned specimen has been constructed via the AC susceptibility data in a crystal of 2H-NbSe2 which shows the SMP and the PE anomalies. The phase space of coexisting weaker and stronger pinned regions has been identified. It can be bifurcated into two parts, where the order and disorder dominate, respectively. The former part continuously connects to the reentrant disordered vortex phase pertaining to the small bundle pinning regime, where the vortices are far apart, interaction effects are weak and the polycrystalline form of flux line lattice prevails.

• Pulverization of the flux line lattice, the phase coexistence and the spinodal temperature of the order—disorder transition in a weakly pinned crystal of Yb3Rh4Sn13

We have studied metastability effects pertaining to the peak effect (PE) in critical current density (Jc) via isofield scans in AC susceptibility measurements in a weakly pinned single crystal of Yb3Rh4Sn13 (Tc(0) ≈ 7.6 K). The order-disorder transition in this specimen proceeds in a multi-step manner. The phase coexistence regime between the onset temperature of the PE and the spinodal temperature (where metastability effects cease) seems to comprise two parts, where ordered and disordered regions dominate the bulk behavior, respectively. The PE line in the vortex phase diagram is argued to terminate at the low field end at a critical point in the elastic (Bragg) glass phase.

• Critical points in the Bragg glass phase of a weakly pinned crystal of Ca3Rh4Sn13

New experimental data are presented on the scan rate dependence of the magnetization hysteresis width ΔM(H) (∞ critical current densityJc(H)) in isothermalMH scans in a weakly pinned single crystal of Ca3Rh4Sn13, which displays second magnetization peak (SMP) anomaly as distinct from the peak effect (PE). We observe an interesting modulation in the field dependence of a parameter which purports to measure the dynamical annealing of the disordered bundles of vortices injected through the sample edges towards the destined equilibrium vortex state at a givenH. These data, in conjunction with the earlier observations made while studying the thermomagnetic history dependence inJc(H) in the tracing of the minor hysteresis loops, imply that the partially disordered state heals towards the more ordered state between the peak field of the SMP anomaly and the onset field of the PE. The vortex phase diagram in the given crystal of Ca3Rh4Sn13 has been updated in the context of the notion of the phase coexistence of the ordered and disordered regions between the onset field of the SMP anomaly and the spinodal line located just prior to the irreversibility line. A multi-critical point and a critical point in the (H,T) region of the Bragg glass phase have been marked in this phase diagram and the observed behavior is discussed in the light of recent data on multi-critical point in the vortex phase diagram in a single crystal of Nb.

• Cryogen-free dilution refrigerator for bolometric search of neutrinoless double beta decay ($0\nu \beta \beta$) in $^{124}$Sn

The feasibility study for searching neutrinoless double beta decay in $^{124}$Sn using cryogenic bolometer has been initiated. For this purpose, a custom-built cryogen-free dilution refrigerator, having a large cooling power of 1.4 mW at 120 mK, has been installed at TIFR, India. This paper describes the design, installation and performance of a cryogen-free dilution refrigerator (CFDR-1200). The performance of CFDR-1200 has been analysed using Takano’s model developed for conventional (wet) dilution refrigerators.

• Pramana – Journal of Physics

Volume 96, 2022
All articles
Continuous Article Publishing mode

• Editorial Note on Continuous Article Publication

Posted on July 25, 2019