Impurity induced phase competition and supersolidity
Journal of the Physical Society of Japan
Several material families show competition between superconductivity and other orders. When such competition is driven by doping, it invariably involves spatial inhomogeneities which can seed competing orders. We study impurity-induced charge order in the attractive Hubbard model, a prototypical model for competition between superconductivity and charge density wave order. We show that a single impurity induces a charge-ordered texture over a length scale set by the energy cost of the competing phase. Our results are consistent with a strong-coupling field theory proposed earlier in which superconducting and charge order parameters form components of an SO(3) vector field. To discuss the effects of multiple impurities, we focus on two cases: correlated and random distributions. In the correlated case, the CDW puddles around each impurity overlap coherently leading to a “supersolid” phase with coexisting pairing and charge order. In contrast, a random distribution of impurities does not lead to coherent CDW formation. We argue that the energy lowering from coherent ordering can have a feedback effect, driving correlations between impurities. This can be understood as arising from an RKKY-like interaction, mediated by impurity textures. We discuss implications for charge order in the cuprates and doped CDW materials such as NbSe2.
Karmakar, Madhuparna and Ganesh, R., "Impurity induced phase competition and supersolidity" (2017). Journal Articles. 2297.