We study the dynamics of vortices in an asymmetric ring channel driven by an external current I in a Corbino setup. The asymmetric potential can rectify the motion of vortices and cause a net flow without any unbiased external drive, which is called ratchet effect. With an applied ac current, the potential can rectify the motion of vortices in the channel and induce a dc net flow. We show that the net flow of vortices strongly depends on vortex density and frequency of the driving current. Depending on the density, we distinguish a "single-vortex" rectification regime (low density) determined by the potential-energy landscape inside each cell of the channel (i.e., "hard" and "easy" directions of motion) and "multi-vortex", or "collective", rectification (high density) when the interaction between vortices becomes important. The frequency of the driving ac current determines a possible distance that a vortex could move during one period. For high frequency current, vortices only oscillate in the triangular cell. For low frequency, the vortex angular velocity $\omega$ increases nearly linearly until the driving force reaches the maximum friction force in the hard direction. Furthermore, the commensurability between the number of vortices and the number of cells results in a stepwise $\omega-I$ curve. Besides the integer steps, i.e., the large steps found in the single vortex case, we also found fractional steps corresponding to fractional ratio between the numbers of vortices and triangular cells. The principal and fractional frequencies for different currents are found, when the net flow of vortices reaches the maximum that is proportional to the frequency when the density of vortices is low. We have performed preliminary measurements on a device containing a single weak-pinning circular ratchet channel in a Corbino geometry and observed a substantial asymmetric vortex response.
Plourde, Britton; Lin, N. S.; Heitmann, T. W.; Yu, Kang; and Misko, V. R., "Rectification of Vortex Motion in a Circular Ratchet Channel" (2011). Physics. 122.
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