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Inhomogeneous time-reversal symmetry breaking in Sr₂RuO₄

Willa, Roland 1; Hecker, Matthias 1; Fernandes, Rafael M.; Schmalian, Jörg 1,2
1 Institut für Theorie der Kondensierten Materie (TKM), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
2 Institut für Quantenmaterialien und -technologien (IQMT), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

Abstract (englisch):

We show that the observed time-reversal symmetry breaking (TRSB) of the superconducting state in Sr2RuO4 can be understood as originating from inhomogeneous strain fields near edge dislocations of the crystal. Specifically, we argue that, without strain inhomogeneities, Sr2RuO4 is a single-component, time-reversal symmetric superconductor, likely with dx2−y2 symmetry. However, due to the strong strain inhomogeneities generated by dislocations, a slowly decaying subleading pairing state contributes to the condensate in significant portions of the sample. As it phase winds around the dislocation, time-reversal symmetry is locally broken. Global phase locking and TRSB occur at a sharp Ising transition that is not accompanied by a change of the single-particle gap and yields a very small heat capacity anomaly. Our model thus explains the puzzling absence of a measurable heat capacity anomaly at the TRSB transition in strained samples and the dilute nature of the time-reversal symmetry broken state probed by muon spin rotation experiments. We propose that plastic deformations of the material may be used to manipulate the onset of broken time-reversal symmetry.

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.104.024511
Zitationen: 27
Web of Science
Zitationen: 27
Zitationen: 31
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Quantenmaterialien und -technologien (IQMT)
Institut für Theorie der Kondensierten Materie (TKM)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsdatum 27.07.2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 2469-9950, 2469-9969
KITopen-ID: 1000136794
HGF-Programm 47.11.02 (POF IV, LK 01) Emergent Quantum Phenomena
Erschienen in Physical Review B
Verlag American Physical Society (APS)
Band 104
Heft 2
Seiten Art.-Nr.: 024511
Vorab online veröffentlicht am 01.07.2021
Nachgewiesen in Scopus
Web of Science
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