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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Jun 16;96(23):237202. Epub 2006 Jun 13.

Artificial square ice and related dipolar nanoarrays.

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Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques, CNRS-UMR8626, 91406 Orsay, France.


We study a frustrated dipolar array recently manufactured lithographically by Wang in order to realize the square ice model in an artificial structure. We discuss models for thermodynamics and dynamics of this system. We show that an ice regime can be stabilized by small changes in the array geometry; a different magnetic state, kagome ice, can similarly be constructed. At low temperatures, the square ice regime is terminated by a thermodynamic ordering transition, which can be chosen to be ferro- or antiferromagnetic. We show that the arrays do not fully equilibrate experimentally, and identify a likely dynamical bottleneck.

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