Onset of surface superconductivity beyond the Saint-James-de Gennes limit

Hong Yi Xie, Vladimir G. Kogan, Maxim Khodas, Alex Levchenko

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11 Scopus citations


We revisit the problem of the surface superconductivity nucleation focusing on the detailed study of the critical field Hc3 as a function of temperature and disorder. Using the semiclassical Eilenberger formalism, we find that away from the Ginzburg-Landau region the ratio between the nucleation critical field Hc3 and the upper critical field Hc2 deviates strongly from the Saint-James-de Gennes limit. In particular, the Hc3/Hc2 is found to be a nonmonotonic function of temperature, which reaches the maximum for a set of parameters corresponding to a crossover region from ballistic to diffusive scattering, when the mean-free path in a bulk of a superconductor is of the same order as zero-temperature superconducting coherence length. We also analyze the robustness of the nucleated phases with respect to diffusive scattering off the sample boundary by solving exactly corresponding eigenvalue problem of an integral equation for the critical field. The implications of these results for the transport in superconductors of various geometries near Hc3 are briefly discussed. In particular, we present results for the mechanism of magnetoconductivity oscillations due to surface superconductivity effects.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number104516
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number10
StatePublished - 28 Sep 2017

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© 2017 American Physical Society.


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