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Phys Rev Lett. 2012 May 18;108(20):207004. Epub 2012 May 17.

Superfluid density and phase relaxation in superconductors with strong disorder.

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Institut Für Physik, BTU Cottbus, PostBox 101344, 03013 Cottbus, Germany.


We consider the attractive Hubbard model with on-site disorder as a prototype of a disordered superconductor. We solve the Bogoliubov-de Gennes equations on two-dimensional finite clusters at zero temperature and evaluate the electromagnetic response to a vector potential. We find that the standard decoupling between transverse and longitudinal response does not apply in the presence of disorder. Moreover, the superfluid density is strongly reduced by the relaxation of the phase of the order parameter already at mean-field level when disorder is large. We also find that the anharmonicity of the phase fluctuations is strongly enhanced by disorder. Beyond mean field, this provides an enhancement of quantum fluctuations inducing a zero-temperature transition to a nonsuperconducting phase of disordered preformed pairs. Finally, the connection of our findings with the glassy physics for extreme dirty superconductors is discussed.

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