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Title: Fluctuation spectroscopy: From Rayleigh-Jeans waves to Abrikosov vortex clusters

Superconducting (SC) fluctuations, discovered in the late 1960s, have constituted an important research area in superconductivity as they are manifest in a variety of phenomena. Indeed, the underlying physics of SC fluctuations makes it possible to elucidate the fundamental properties of the superconducting state. The interest in SC fluctuation phenomena was further enhanced with the discovery of cuprate high-temperature superconductors (HTSs). In these materials, superconducting fluctuations appear over a wide range of temperatures due to the superconductors extremely short coherence lengths and low effective dimensionality of the electron systems. These strong fluctuations lead to anomalous properties of the normal state in some HTS materials. Within the framework of the phenomenological Ginzburg-Landau theory, and more extensively in the diagrammatic microscopic approach based on BCS theory, SC fluctuations as well as other quantum contributions (weak localization, etc.) enabled a new way to investigate and characterize disordered electron systems, granular metals, Josephson structures, artificial superlattices, and others. The characteristic feature of SC fluctuations is its strong dependence on temperature and magnetic field in the vicinity of the superconducting phase transition. This dependence allows the separation of fluctuation effects from other contributions and provides information about the microscopic parameters of a material, in particular,more » the critical temperature and the zero-temperature critical magnetic field. As such, SC fluctuations are very sensitive to the relaxation processes that break phase coherence and can be used as a versatile characterization instrument for SCs: Fluctuation spectroscopy has emerged as a powerful tool for studying the properties of superconducting systems on a quantitative level. Here the physics of SC fluctuations is reviewed, commencing from a qualitative description of thermodynamic fluctuations close to the critical temperature and quantum fluctuations at zero temperature in the vicinity of the second critical field. The analysis of the latter allows us to present fluctuation formation as a fragmentation of the Abrikosov lattice. Finally, this review highlights a series of experimental findings followed by microscopic description and numerical analysis of the effects of fluctuations on numerous properties of superconductors in the entire phase diagram and beyond the superconducting phase.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Superconducting and Other Innovative Materials and Devices Inst. (CNR-SPIN), Rome (Italy)
  2. Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States). James Franck Inst.; Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Materials Science Division
  3. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Materials Science Division; Northern Illinois Univ., DeKalb, IL (United States). Dept. of Physics
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357; 644076; 2015C5SEJJ001
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Reviews of Modern Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 90; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0034-6861
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Superconducting and Other Innovative Materials and Devices Inst. (CNR-SPIN), Rome (Italy)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) (SC-21); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); European Commission (EC); Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) (Italy)
Country of Publication:
United States
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; superconducting fluctuations; superconductivity; superconductors; methods in superconductivity
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1429966