J. Phys. IV France
Volume 131, December 2005
Page(s) 139 - 142
Publié en ligne 18 janvier 2006
International Workshop on Electronic Crystals
S. Brazovskii, P. Monceau and N. Kirova
J. Phys. IV France 131 (2005) 139-142

DOI: 10.1051/jp4:2005131033

Transverse correlations and plasticity in the CDW conductor NbSe3 studied by X-ray microbeam diffraction

A.F. Isakovic1, P.G. Evans2, Z. Cai3, B. Lai3, J. Kmetko1, K. Cicak1 and R.E. Thorne1

1  LASSP, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
2  Mat. Sci. and Engineering Dept., University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
3  Argonne National Lab, Argonne, IL, USA

In whisker-like samples of the quasi-1D conductor NbSe3, the presence of longitudinal steps causes shearing of the CDW, and leads to a loss of transverse correlations. We use a microdiffraction setup with a spatial resolution of 300 nm and an angular sensitivity of 5 mdeg to image the resulting CDW contrast between thick and thin portions of the sample. Microdiffraction in the b* - c* plane shows that depinning on the thick, weakly pinned side is accompanied by the loss of diffraction intensity, demonstrating a loss of correlations in qualitative agreement with previous X-ray diffraction topography measurements1, but with an order-of-magnitude improvement in spatial resolution. Microdiffraction images in the a* - b* plane reveal a sharp increase in the full width at half maximum in an approximately 1 micron thick region near the step edge and a rotation of the CDW wavevector that varies with applied field. We use the extremal value of the CDW wavevector rotation to estimate the shear modulus of this electronic crystal.

© EDP Sciences 2005