Detecting Superconductivity in the High Pressure Hydrides and Metallic Hydrogen from Optical Properties Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We present a new technique for measuring the critical temperature T_{c} in the high pressure, high T_{c} electron-phonon-driven superconducting hydrides. This technique does not require connecting leads to the sample. In the region of the absorption spectrum above the sum of the optical gap and maximum phonon energy, the reflectance mirrors the temperature variation of the superconducting order parameter. For an appropriately chosen value of fixed photon energy, the temperature dependence of the reflectance varies much more rapidly below T=T_{c} than above. It increases with increasing temperature in the superconducting state while it decreases in the normal state. Examining the temperature dependence of the reflectance at a fixed photon energy, there is a cusp at T=T_{c} which provides a measurement of the critical temperature. We discuss these issues within the context of the recently reported atomic metallic phase of hydrogen, but our proposed technique should prove useful for other hydrides with large coupling to high energy phonons.

publication date

  • July 27, 2018