Cooper pairing in non-Fermi liquids

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Cooper pairing in non-Fermi liquids

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Title: Cooper pairing in non-Fermi liquids
Author: Metlitski, Max A.; Mross, David F.; Sachdev, Subir; Senthil, T.

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Citation: Metlitski, Max A., David F. Mross, Subir Sachdev, and T. Senthil. 2015. “Cooper Pairing in Non-Fermi Liquids.” Physical Review B 91, no. 11.
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Abstract: States of matter with a sharp Fermi surface but no well-defined Landau quasiparticles arise in a number of physical systems. Examples include (i) quantum critical points associated with the onset of order in metals; (ii) spinon Fermi-surface [U(1) spin-liquid] state of a Mott insulator; (iii) Halperin-Lee-Read composite fermion charge liquid state of a half-filled Landau level. In this work, we use renormalization group techniques to investigate possible instabilities of such non-Fermi liquids in two spatial dimensions to Cooper pairing. We consider the Ising-nematic quantum critical point as an example of an ordering phase transition in a metal, and demonstrate that the attractive interaction mediated by the order-parameter fluctuations always leads to a superconducting instability. Moreover, in the regime where our calculation is controlled, superconductivity preempts the destruction of electronic quasiparticles. On the other hand, the spinon Fermi surface and the Halperin-Lee-Read states are stable against Cooper pairing for a sufficiently weak attractive short-range interaction; however, once the strength of attraction exceeds a critical value, pairing sets in. We describe the ensuing quantum phase transition between (i) U(1) and Z2 spin-liquid states; (ii) Halperin-Lee-Read and Moore-Read states.
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