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Title: Superconductivity in three-dimensional spin-orbit coupled semimetals

Abstract

Here, motivated by the experimental detection of superconductivity in the low-carrier density half-Heusler compound YPtBi, we study the pairing instabilities of three-dimensional strongly spin-orbit coupled semimetals with a quadratic band touching point. In these semimetals the electronic structure at the Fermi energy is described by spin j = 3/2 quasiparticles, which are fundamentally different from those in ordinary metals with spin j = 1/2. For both local and nonlocal pairing channels in j = 3/2 materials we develop a general approach to analyzing pairing instabilities, thereby providing the computational tools needed to investigate the physics of these systems beyond phenomenological considerations. Furthermore, applying our method to a generic density-density interaction, we establish that: (i) The pairing strengths in the different symmetry channels uniquely encode the j = 3/2 nature of the Fermi surface band structure—a manifestation of the fundamental difference with ordinary metals. (ii) The leading odd-parity pairing instabilities are different for electron doping and hole doping. Finally, we argue that polar phonons, i.e., Coulomb interactions mediated by the long-ranged electric polarization of the optical phonon modes, provide a coupling strength large enough to account for a Kelvin-range transition temperature in the s-wave channel, and are likely to play anmore » important role in the overall attraction in non- s -wave channels. Furthermore, the explicit calculation of the coupling strengths allows us to conclude that the two largest non- s-wave contributions occur in nonlocal channels, in contrast with what has been commonly assumed.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [2]
  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); Université de Lyon (France)
  2. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Materials Sciences & Engineering Division
OSTI Identifier:
1505765
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1416451
Grant/Contract Number:  
FG02-03ER46076; SC0010526
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review B
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 96; Journal Issue: 21; Journal ID: ISSN 2469-9950
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY

Citation Formats

Savary, Lucile, Ruhman, Jonathan, Venderbos, Jörn W. F., Fu, Liang, and Lee, Patrick A. Superconductivity in three-dimensional spin-orbit coupled semimetals. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1103/physrevb.96.214514.
Savary, Lucile, Ruhman, Jonathan, Venderbos, Jörn W. F., Fu, Liang, & Lee, Patrick A. Superconductivity in three-dimensional spin-orbit coupled semimetals. United States. doi:10.1103/physrevb.96.214514.
Savary, Lucile, Ruhman, Jonathan, Venderbos, Jörn W. F., Fu, Liang, and Lee, Patrick A. Thu . "Superconductivity in three-dimensional spin-orbit coupled semimetals". United States. doi:10.1103/physrevb.96.214514. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1505765.
@article{osti_1505765,
title = {Superconductivity in three-dimensional spin-orbit coupled semimetals},
author = {Savary, Lucile and Ruhman, Jonathan and Venderbos, Jörn W. F. and Fu, Liang and Lee, Patrick A.},
abstractNote = {Here, motivated by the experimental detection of superconductivity in the low-carrier density half-Heusler compound YPtBi, we study the pairing instabilities of three-dimensional strongly spin-orbit coupled semimetals with a quadratic band touching point. In these semimetals the electronic structure at the Fermi energy is described by spin j = 3/2 quasiparticles, which are fundamentally different from those in ordinary metals with spin j = 1/2. For both local and nonlocal pairing channels in j = 3/2 materials we develop a general approach to analyzing pairing instabilities, thereby providing the computational tools needed to investigate the physics of these systems beyond phenomenological considerations. Furthermore, applying our method to a generic density-density interaction, we establish that: (i) The pairing strengths in the different symmetry channels uniquely encode the j = 3/2 nature of the Fermi surface band structure—a manifestation of the fundamental difference with ordinary metals. (ii) The leading odd-parity pairing instabilities are different for electron doping and hole doping. Finally, we argue that polar phonons, i.e., Coulomb interactions mediated by the long-ranged electric polarization of the optical phonon modes, provide a coupling strength large enough to account for a Kelvin-range transition temperature in the s-wave channel, and are likely to play an important role in the overall attraction in non- s -wave channels. Furthermore, the explicit calculation of the coupling strengths allows us to conclude that the two largest non- s-wave contributions occur in nonlocal channels, in contrast with what has been commonly assumed.},
doi = {10.1103/physrevb.96.214514},
journal = {Physical Review B},
number = 21,
volume = 96,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {12}
}

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Cited by: 19 works
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