Fractal superconductivity near localization threshold

M. V. Feigel'man 1, 2, L. B. Ioffe 1, 3, 4, V. E. Kravtsov 1, 5, E. Cuevas 6

Annals of Physics / Ann Phys (New York); Annals of Physics (New York); Ann Phys (U S A ); Ann Phys (Leipzig) 325, 7 (2010) 1390-1478

We develop a semi-quantitative theory of electron pairing and resulting superconductivity in bulk 'poor conductors' in which Fermi energy $E_F$ is located in the region of localized states not so far from the Anderson mobility edge $E_c$. We review the existing theories and experimental data and argue that a large class of disordered films is described by this model. Our theoretical analysis is based on the analytical treatment of pairing correlations, described in the basis of the exact single-particle eigenstates of the 3D Anderson model, which we combine with numerical data on eigenfunction correlations. Fractal nature of critical wavefunction's correlations is shown to be crucial for the physics of these systems. We identify three distinct phases: 'critical' superconductive state formed at $E_F=E_c$, superconducting state with a strong pseudogap, realized due to pairing of weakly localized electrons and insulating state realized at $E_F$ still deeper inside localized band. The 'critical' superconducting phase is characterized by the enhancement of the transition temperature with respect to BCS result, by the inhomogeneous spatial distribution of superconductive order parameter and local density of states. The major new feature of the pseudo-gaped state is the presence of two independent energy scales: superconducting gap $\Delta$, that is due to many-body correlations and a new 'pseudogap' energy scale $\Delta_P$ which characterizes typical binding energy of localized electron pairs and leads to the insulating behavior of the resistivity as a function of temperature above superconductive $T_c$. Two gap nature of the 'pseudo-gaped superconductor' is shown to lead to a number of unusual physical properties.

  • 1. L.D. Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics,
    Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics
  • 2. Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT),
    Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
  • 3. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud
  • 4. Department of Physics and Astronomy,
    University of California, Riverside
  • 5. The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics,
    ICTP Trieste
  • 6. Izaña Atmospheric Research Center,
    Izaña Atmospheric Research Center