What can Andreev bound states tell us about superconductors?

Oded Millo*, Gad Koren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Zero-energy Andreev bound states, which manifest themselves in the tunnelling spectra as zero-bias conductance peaks (ZBCPs), are abundant at interfaces between superconductors and other materials and on the nodal surface of high-temperature superconductors. In this review, we focus on the information such excitations can provide on the properties of superconductor systems. First, a general introduction to the physics of Andreev bound states in superconductor/normal metal interfaces is given with a particular emphasis on why they appear at zero energy in d-wave superconductors. Then, specific spectroscopic tunnelling studies of thin films, bilayers and junctions are described, focusing on the corresponding ZBCP features. Scanning tunnelling spectroscopy (STS) studies show that the ZBCPs on the c-axis YBa2Cu3O7−δ (YBCO) films are correlated with the surface morphology and appear only in proximity to (110) facets. STS on c-axis La1.88Sr0.12CuO4 (LSCO) films exhibiting the 1/8 anomaly shows spatially modulated peaks near zero bias associated with the anti-phase ordering of the d-wave order parameter predicted at this doping level. ZBCPs were also found in micrometre-size edge junctions of YBCO/SrRuO3/YBCO, where SrRuO3 is ferromagnetic. Here, the results are consistent with a crossed Andreev reflection effect (CARE) at the narrow domain walls of the SrRuO3. ZBCPs measured in STS studies of manganite/cuprate bilayers could not be attributed to CARE because the manganite's domain wall is much larger than the coherence length in YBCO, and instead are attributed to proximity-induced triplet-pairing superconductivity with non-conventional symmetry. And finally, ZBCPs found in junctions of non-intentionally doped topological insulator films of Bi2Se3 and the s-wave superconductor NbN are attributed to proximity-induced px + ipy triplet order parameter in the topological material. This article is part of the theme issue 'Andreev bound states.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number20140143
JournalPhilosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences
Issue number2125
StatePublished - 6 Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.


  • Andreev bound states
  • Edge junctions
  • High-temperature superconductivity
  • Proximity effect
  • Scanning tunnelling spectroscopy
  • Topological insulators


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