Monte Carlo approach for studying microphases applied to the axial next-nearest-neighbor Ising and the Ising-Coulomb models


Journal Article

The equilibrium phase behavior of microphase-forming systems is notoriously difficult to obtain because of the extended metastability of their modulated phases. In this paper we present a systematic simulation methodology for studying layered microphases and apply the approach to two prototypical lattice-based systems: the three-dimensional axial next-nearest-neighbor Ising (ANNNI) and Ising-Coulomb (IC) models. The method involves thermodynamically integrating along a reversible path established between a reference system of free spins under an ordering field and the system of interest. The resulting free-energy calculations unambiguously locate the phase boundaries. Simple phases are not found to play a particularly significant role in the devil's flowers and interfacial roughening plays at most a small role in the ANNNI layered regime. With the help of generalized order parameters, the paramagnetic-modulated critical transition of the ANNNI model is also studied. We confirm the XY universality of the paramagnetic-modulated transition and its isotropic nature. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zhang, K; Charbonneau, P

Published Date

  • June 9, 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 83 / 21

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1550-235X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1098-0121

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1103/PhysRevB.83.214303

Citation Source

  • Scopus