Charge avalanches and depinning in the Coulomb glass: The role of long-range interactions

J. C. Andresen, Y. Pramudya, Helmut G. Katzgraber, C. K. Thomas, G. T. Zimanyi, V. Dobrosavljević

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2 Citations (Scopus)


We explore the stability of far-from-equilibrium metastable states of a three-dimensional Coulomb glass at zero temperature by studying charge avalanches triggered by a slowly varying external electric field. Surprisingly, we identify a sharply defined dynamical (“depinning”) phase transition from stationary to nonstationary charge displacement at a critical value of the external electric field. Using particle-conserving dynamics, scale-free system-spanning avalanches are observed only at the critical field. We show that the qualitative features of this depinning transition are completely different for an equivalent short-range model, highlighting the key importance of long-range interactions for nonequilibrium dynamics of Coulomb glasses.
Original languageEnglish
Article number094429
JournalPhysical Review B
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

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