Exact theory for superconductivity in a doped Mott insulator

Philip W. Phillips, Luke Yeo, Edwin W. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Because the cuprate superconductors are doped Mott insulators, it would be advantageous to solve even a toy model that exhibits both Mottness and superconductivity. We consider the Hatsugai–Kohmoto model1,2, an exactly solvable system that is a prototypical Mott insulator. Upon either doping or reducing the interaction strength, our exact calculations show that the system becomes a non-Fermi liquid metal with a superconducting instability. In the presence of a weak pairing interaction, the instability produces a thermal transition to a superconducting phase, which is distinct from the traditional state described by Bardeen–Cooper–Schrieffer (BCS) theory, as evidenced by a gap-to-transition temperature ratio exceeding the universal BCS limit. The elementary excitations of this superconductor are not Bogoliubov quasiparticles but rather superpositions of doublons and holons, composite excitations that show that the superconducting ground state of the doped Mott insulator inherits the non-Fermi liquid character of the normal state. An unexpected feature of this model is that it exhibits a superconductivity-induced transfer of spectral weight from high to low energies, as seen in the cuprates3, as well as a suppression of the superfluid density relative to that in BCS theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1175-1180
Number of pages6
JournalNature Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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