Andreev bound-state tunneling and ESR spectroscopy of high-temperature superconductors and observations of broken time-reversal symmetry

L. H. Greene, M. Aprili, M. Covington, E. Badica, D. E. Pugel, H. Aubin, Y. M. Xia, M. B. Salamon, Sha Jain, D. G. Hinks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An emphasis on reliable materials growth and development of new fabrication techniques has allowed us to investigate the electronic structure of high-temperature superconductors by planar quasiparticle tunneling and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopies. The quasiparticle (QP) density of states (DoS) is investigated by tunneling into oriented thin films of Y 1Ba2Cu3O7 (YBCO) and single crystals of Ba2Sr2Ca1Cu2O8 (BSCCO). Data are obtained as a function of crystallographic orientation, temperature, doping, damage, and applied magnetic field. These data demonstrate that the observed zero-bias conductance peak (ZBCP) is composed of Andreev bound states (ABS) which intrinsically form at a symmetry-breaking interface of an unconventional superconductor, for example, a (110)-surface of d-wave YBCO. Tunneling into doped or ion-damaged YBCO provides a measure of the QP scattering rate below Tc. An applied field causes Doppler shift of the ABS, arising from the scalar product between the QP velocity and the superfluid momentum, υF-PS, observed as a splitting in the ZBCP. Magnetic hysteresis of the splitting is consistent with the effects of strong vortex pinning near the interface. The directional field dependence shows that the ABS is highly anisotropic in its transport. These results, plus in-plane crystallographic orientational dependence on single-crystal BSCCO, demonstrate the d-wave symmetry of this superconductor. Below ∼ 8 K and in zero applied field, the ZBCP splits, indicating a transition into a superconducting state with spontaneously broken time-reversal symmetry (BTRS). EPR experiments are used to detect directly the spontaneous formation of the magnetic moments in the BTRS state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-708
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Superconductivity and Novel Magnetism
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Andreev bound state
  • Broken time-reversal symmetry
  • Electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Tunneling spectroscopy
  • YBCO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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