Origin of scale-free intermittency in structural first-order phase transitions

Francisco J. Perez-Reche, Carles Triguero, Giovanni Zanzotto, Lev Truskinovsky

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A salient feature of cyclically driven first-order phase transformations in crystals is their scale-free avalanche dynamics. This behavior has been linked to the presence of a classical critical point but the mechanism leading to criticality without extrinsic tuning remains unexplained. Here we show that the source of scaling in such systems is an annealed disorder associated with transformation-induced slip which co-evolves with the phase transformation, thus ensuring the crossing of a critical manifold. Our conclusions are based on a model where annealed disorder emerges in the form of a random field induced by the phase transition. Such disorder exhibits super-transient chaotic behavior under thermal loading, obeys a heavy-tailed distribution and exhibits long-range spatial correlations. We show that the universality class is affected by the long-range character of elastic interactions. In contrast, it is not influenced by the heavy-tailed distribution and spatial correlations of disorder.
Original languageEnglish
Article number144102
JournalPhysical Review B Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2016

Bibliographical note


FJPR acknowledges the financial support from the Carnegie Trust. LT acknowledges the financial support from the french ANR grant EVOCRIT.


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