Time-reversal symmetry breaking in superconductors through loop supercurrent order

Sudeep Kumar Ghosh*, James F. Annett, Jorge Quintanilla

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Abstract

We propose a novel superconducting ground state where microscopic supercurrent loops form spontaneously within a unit cell at the superconducting transition temperature with only uniform, onsite and intra-orbital singlet pairing. As a result of the circulating currents time-reversal symmetry is spontaneously broken in the superconducting state. Using Ginzburg-Landau theory we describe in detail how these currents emerge in a toy model. We discuss the crystallographic symmetry requirements more generally to realize such a state and show that they are met by the Re6X (X = Zr, Hf, Ti) family of time-reversal symmetry-breaking, but otherwise seemingly conventional, superconductors. We estimate an upper bound for the resulting internal magnetic fields, which is consistent with recent muon-spin relaxation experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number083018
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Volume23
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

6 pages, 3 figures (More references added)

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s).

Keywords

  • cond-mat.supr-con

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