We present an analytical study of diamagnetism and transport in a film with superconducting phase fluctuations, formulated in terms of vortex dynamics within the Debye-Hückel approximation. We find that the diamagnetic and Nernst signals decay strongly with temperature in a manner that is dictated by the vortex core energy. Using the theory to interpret Nernst measurements of underdoped La2-xSrxCuO4 above the critical temperature regime, we obtain a considerably better fit to the data than a fit based on Gaussian order-parameter fluctuations. Our results indicate that the core energy in this system scales roughly with the critical temperature and is significantly smaller than expected from BCS theory. Furthermore, it is necessary to assume that the vortex mobility is much larger than the Bardeen-Stephen value in order to reconcile conductivity measurements with the same vortex picture. Therefore, either the Nernst signal is not due to fluctuating vortices, or vortices in underdoped La2-xSrxCuO4 have highly unconventional properties.
|Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
|Published - 11 Nov 2014
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