Superfluid pairing between fermions with unequal masses

M. A. Baranov 1, 2, 3, C. Lobo 4, G. V. Shlyapnikov 5

Physical Review B 78 (2008) 033620

We consider a superfluid state in a two-component gas of fermionic atoms with equal densities and unequal masses in the BCS limit. We develop a perturbation theory along the lines proposed by Gorkov and Melik-Barkhudarov and find that for a large difference in the masses of heavy ($M$) and light ($m$) atoms one has to take into account both the second-order and third-order contributions. The result for the critical temperature and order parameter is then quite different from the prediction of the simple BCS approach. Moreover, the small parameter of the theory turns out to be $(p_{F}|a|)/\hbar)\sqrt{M/m}\ll1$, where $p_{F}$ is the Fermi momentum, and $a$ the scattering length. Thus, for a large mass ratio $M/m$ the conventional perturbation theory requires significantly smaller Fermi momenta (densities) or scattering lengths than in the case of $M\sim m$, where the small parameter is $(p_{F}|a|)/\hbar)\ll1$. We show that 3-body scattering resonances appearing at a large mass ratio due to the presence of 3-body bound Efimov states do not influence the result, which in this sense becomes universal.

  • 1. Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute,
    Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute
  • 2. Institut für Quantenoptik und Quanteninformation,
    Institut für Quantenoptik und Quanteninformation
  • 3. National Research Centre "Kurchatov Institute" (NRC KI),
    University of Moscow
  • 4. School of Physics and Astronomy,
    University of Nottingham
  • 5. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud