J. Phys. IV France
Volume 09, Numéro PR10, December 1999
International Workshop on Electronic Crystals
Page(s) Pr10-171 - Pr10-173
International Workshop on Electronic Crystals

J. Phys. IV France 09 (1999) Pr10-171-Pr10-173

DOI: 10.1051/jp4:19991043

Theory of time-correlated tunneling of density wave solitons

J.H. Miller Jr., C. Ordóñez and E. Prodan

University of Houston, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.

We discuss a model in which an applied field induces quantum nucleation of soliton-antisoliton (S-S') pairs in a pinned charge or spin density wave. Coulomb blockade prevents pair creation until the electric field exceeds a sharp threshold value, which can be much smaller than the classical depinning field. Above threshold, the pair creation events become correlated in time, by analogy to time-correlated single electron tunneling. We compute the phase polarization and find that, depending on parameters, the predicted phase polarization can either be extremely small below threshold, as observed in NbSe3, or quite substantial, as observed in blue bronze. The lack of significant phase polarization below threshold in NbSe3, indicated by several experiments, suggests that the measured threshold field is a quantum S-S' pair creation threshold rather than a classical depinning field.

© EDP Sciences 1999