Chapter

Superconductor-Insulator Transitions: Present Status and Open Questions

Nandini Trivedi

in Conductor-Insulator Quantum Phase Transitions

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199592593
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741050 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592593.003.0010
Superconductor-Insulator Transitions: Present Status and Open Questions

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A superconductor is a remarkable emergent state of matter in which electrons pair up and develop long range phase coherence resulting in zero resistance and perfect diamagnetism. How can a superconductor decohere? A thin superconducting film can be driven insulating in a remarkable number of ways: decreasing thickness, increasing disorder, changing the gate voltage, or applying a magnetic field. Such superconductor-insulator transitions (SIT) are quantum phase transitions of strongly correlated electrons occurring at very low temperatures. This chapter gives an overview of the field, with particular emphasis on recent developments. This chapter describes how the theoretical understanding of SITs has evolved over the years, and how the increasing quality of experimental data is beginning to reveal the importance of amplitude and phase fluctuations. Most importantly new paradigms have been developed to describe these phenomena. This chapter contains numerous references to the contributions by various authors in subsequent chapters

Keywords: superconductivity; unconventional insulators; quantum phase transitions/critical phenomena; strongly correlated fermions; transport properties; spectral functions; disorder; magnetic field; localization

Chapter.  8935 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Mathematical and Statistical Physics

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