Chiral superconductors Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Chiral superconductivity is a striking quantum phenomenon in which an unconventional superconductor spontaneously develops an angular momentum and lowers its free energy by eliminating nodes in the gap. It is a topologically non-trivial state and, as such, exhibits distinctive topological modes at surfaces and defects. In this paper we discuss the current theory and experimental results on chiral superconductors, focusing on two of the best-studied systems, Sr2RuO4, which is thought to be a chiral triplet p-wave superconductor, and UPt3, which has two low-temperature superconducting phases (in zero magnetic field), the lower of which is believed to be chiral triplet f-wave. Other systems that may exhibit chiral superconductivity are also discussed. Key signatures of chiral superconductivity are surface currents and chiral Majorana modes, Majorana states in vortex cores, and the possibility of half-flux quantum vortices in the case of triplet pairing. Experimental evidence for chiral superconductivity from μSR, NMR, strain, polar Kerr effect and Josephson tunneling experiments are discussed.

publication date

  • May 1, 2016