Mode propagation in superconductors near Tc

Ora Entin-Wohlman*, R. Orbach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The linearized Eliashberg theory for dirty superconductors in the vicinity of Tc is used to generate the dynamic Ginzburg-Landau (GL) equation for the order parameter and the coupled Boltzmann equation for the quasi-particle distribution function, with and without magnetic impurities and inelastic phonon scattering. The Schmid and Schön (SS) separation of the order parameter into longitudinal (real) and transverse (imaginary) components is shown to be exact to linear order. The former does not couple with the wave vector (k) and frequency (ω) dependent external field, while the latter does. Explicit expressions are exhibited for the current and charge densities to leading order [ Δ T in the gap regime, in which Δτs > 1 where τs is the conduction electron spin flip lifetime; and Δ2 T(ω + iDk2) in the gapless regime, Δτs < 1. D is the diffusion constant]. The continuity equation is shown to be obeyed to this order. Use of the Poisson equation in relation to the transverse component leads to a propagating mode, which, in the absence of magnetic impurities, reduces to the SS result. We find that the mode propagates only in the gap regime, whereas it is purely diffusive in the gapless regime and for gapless superconductors. In the presence of magnetic impurities, the solution reduces to the SS limit, but with reduced mode velocity and damping. The charge density appropriate to the propagating mode is shown to be zero to order ω ωp2τ1, where τ1 is the impurity scattering time and θp the plasma frequency. The characteristic penetration length of an electric field into a superconductor is calculated, taking into account the phonon inelastic scattering time. The result reproduces the Waldram and SS expressions. Careful examination is made of the conditions under which these results pertain. The characteristic penetration length is also obtained in the gapless regime and for gapless superconductors for which Tcτs < 1. Finally, the longitudinal and transverse pair susceptibilities are calculated with and without magnetic impurities and in the gap and gapless regimes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-76
Number of pages42
JournalAnnals of Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1978


FundersFunder number
Office of Naval Research


    Dive into the research topics of 'Mode propagation in superconductors near Tc'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this