Andreev reflection spectroscopy of the heavy-fermion superconductor CeCoIn5 along three different crystallographic orientations

Wan Kyu Park, Laura H. Greene, John L. Sarrao, Joe D. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Andreev reflection spectroscopy has been performed on the heavy-fermion superconductor (HFS) CeCoIn5 single crystals along three different crystallographic orientations, (0 0 1), (1 1 0), and (1 0 0), using Au tips as counter-electrodes. Dynamic conductance spectra are reproducible over wide temperature ranges and consistent with each other, ensuring the spectroscopic nature. Features common to all directions are: (i) asymmetric behaviors of the background conductance, which we attribute to the emerging coherent heavy-fermion liquid; (ii) energy scales (∼1 meV) for conductance enhancement due to Andreev reflection; and (iii) magnitudes of enhanced zero-bias conductance (10-13%). These values are an order of magnitude smaller than the predicted value by the Blonder-Tinkham-Klapwijk (BTK) theory, but comparable to those for other HFSs. Using the d-wave BTK model, we obtain an energy gap of ∼460 μeV. However, it is found that extended BTK models considering the mismatch in Fermi surface parameters do not account for our data completely, which we attribute to the shift of spectral weight to low energy as well as to the suppressed Andreev reflection. A qualitative comparison of the conductance spectra with calculated curves shows a consistency with dx2 - y2 symmetry, providing the first spectroscopic evidence for the order parameter symmetry and resolving the controversy over the location of the line nodes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-209
Number of pages4
JournalPhysica C: Superconductivity and its applications
Volume460-462 I
Issue numberSPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007


  • Andreev reflection
  • Blonder-Tinkham-Klapwijk model
  • CeCoIn
  • Heavy-fermion superconductor
  • Point-contact spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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