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Size dependent nature of the magnetic-field driven superconductor-to-insulator quantum-phase transitions


Zhang, Xiaofu; Lita, Adriana E; Liu, Huanlong; Verma, Varun B; Zhou, Qiang; Nam, Sae Woo; Schilling, Andreas (2021). Size dependent nature of the magnetic-field driven superconductor-to-insulator quantum-phase transitions. Communications Physics, 4:100.

Abstract

The nature of the magnetic-field driven superconductor-to-insulator quantum-phase transition in two-dimensional systems at zero temperature has been under debate since the 1980s, and became even more controversial after the observation of a quantum-Griffiths singularity. Whether it is induced by quantum fluctuations of the superconducting phase and the localization of Cooper pairs, or is directly driven by depairing of these pairs, remains an open question. We herein experimentally demonstrate that in weakly-pinning systems and in the limit of infinitely wide films, a sequential superconductor-to-Bose insulator-to-Fermi insulator quantum-phase transition takes place. By limiting their size to smaller than the effective penetration depth, however, the vortex interaction alters, and the superconducting state re-enters the Bose-insulating state. As a consequence, one observes a direct superconductor-to-Fermi insulator in the zero-temperature limit. In narrow films, the associated critical-exponent products diverge along the corresponding phase boundaries with increasing magnetic field, which is a hallmark of the quantum-Griffiths singularity.

Abstract

The nature of the magnetic-field driven superconductor-to-insulator quantum-phase transition in two-dimensional systems at zero temperature has been under debate since the 1980s, and became even more controversial after the observation of a quantum-Griffiths singularity. Whether it is induced by quantum fluctuations of the superconducting phase and the localization of Cooper pairs, or is directly driven by depairing of these pairs, remains an open question. We herein experimentally demonstrate that in weakly-pinning systems and in the limit of infinitely wide films, a sequential superconductor-to-Bose insulator-to-Fermi insulator quantum-phase transition takes place. By limiting their size to smaller than the effective penetration depth, however, the vortex interaction alters, and the superconducting state re-enters the Bose-insulating state. As a consequence, one observes a direct superconductor-to-Fermi insulator in the zero-temperature limit. In narrow films, the associated critical-exponent products diverge along the corresponding phase boundaries with increasing magnetic field, which is a hallmark of the quantum-Griffiths singularity.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > General Physics and Astronomy
Language:English
Date:1 December 2021
Deposited On:07 Jul 2021 15:08
Last Modified:25 Feb 2024 02:40
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2399-3650
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s42005-021-00602-7
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)