Two-component physics of cuprates and superconductor-insulator transitions

F. V. Kusmartsev, Mikko Saarela

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12 Scopus citations


We show that superconductor-insulator transitions (SIT) may arise due to a charge density wave instability induced by the over-screened Coulomb interaction modified due to decreasing carrier density. Within this new insulating state a novel quasiparticle entity, a microscopic Coulomb bubble (CB), emerges. These bubbles are embedded inside the superconductor and form nuclei of the new insulating state. The growth of a bubble is terminated by the Coulomb force and each bubble has a quantized charge and a fluctuating phase. When bubbles first appear they are covered by superfluid liquid due to a proximity effect and are invisible. However, when the carrier density decreases further, the bubbles' size increases and the superconducting proximity inside the bubbles vanishes. The insulating state arises via a percolation of insulating islands originating inside the CBs, which form a giant percolating cluster that prevents the flow of the electrical supercurrent through the system. We also show the formation of two groups of charge carriers in these compounds associated with free and localized states. The localized component arises due to Coulomb clumps. Our results are completely consistent with the two-component picture of cuprates deduced earlier by Gorkov and Teitelbaum (GT) (Gorkov and Teitelbaum 2006 Phys. Rev. Lett. 97 247003, Gorkov and Teitelbaum 2008 J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 108 012009) from the analysis of Hall effect data and the ARPES spectra. These CBs induce nanoscale superstructures observed in scanning tunneling microscope (STM) experiments (Gorkov and Teitelbaum 2008 J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 108 012009, Pan et al 2001 Nature 413 282-5, Dubi et al 2007 Nature 449 876-9, Gomes et al 2007 Nature 447 569, Lee et al 2006 Nature 442 546, McElroy et al 2005 Science 309 1048, Zhu et al 2006 Phys. Rev. Lett. 97 177001) and responsible for the pseudogap and Nernst effect in HTSC.

Original languageBritish English
Article number014008
JournalSuperconductor Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009


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