Phenomenological theory of the superconducting state inside the hidden-order phase of URu2Si2

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Recent experiments have unveiled important properties of the ground state of the elusive heavy fermion URu2Si2. While tetragonal symmetry-breaking was reported below the hidden-order (HO) transition at THO≈17.5K, time-reversal symmetry breaking was observed below the superconducting transition temperature Tc<THO. Although the latter results have been used to argue in favor of a chiral d+id superconducting state, such an order parameter is incompatible with broken tetragonal symmetry. Here, we employ a phenomenological model to investigate the properties of a chiral superconducting state that develops inside the hidden-order phase. In this case, there are actually two superconducting transition temperatures: while Tc marks a normal-state to superconducting transition, Tc∗<Tc signals a superconducting-to-superconducting transition in which time-reversal symmetry is broken. In the phase Tc∗<T<Tc, the low-energy density of states ρ(ω) is enhanced due to the crossing of two nodal lines, giving rise to an unusual ωln(ω) dependence of ρ(ω), which is manifested in several thermodynamic properties. We also investigate the emergence of a soft amplitude gap mode near Tc∗. In contrast to the usual amplitude mode near a regular normal-state to superconducting transition, this mode becomes soft near a superconducting-to-superconducting transition, which in principle allows for its detection by Raman spectroscopy. Finally, we investigate the impact of twin domains on the anisotropic properties of the superconducting state, and propose experiments in mechanically strained samples to explore the interplay between hidden order and superconductivity in URu2Si2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number054504
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 5 2015

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© 2015 American Physical Society.


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