Spontaneous generation of fractional vortex-Antivortex pairs at single edges of high-Tc superconductors
Paper in proceedings, 2018
Unconventional d-wave superconductors with pair-breaking edges are predicted to have ground states with spontaneously broken time-reversal and translational symmetries. We use the quasiclassical theory of superconductivity to demonstrate that such phases can exist at any single pair-breaking facet. This implies that a greater variety of systems, not necessarily mesoscopic in size, should be unstable to such symmetry breaking. The density of states averaged over the facet displays a broad peak centered at zero energy, which is consistent with experimental findings of a broad zero-bias conductance peak with a temperature-independent width at low temperatures.