Electromagnetic absorption in anisotropic superconductors

P. J. Hirschfeld*, P. Wölfle, J. A. Sauls, D. Einzel, W. O. Putikka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


We calculate the absorptive part of the frequency-dependent conductivity for a large class of anisotropic superconductors. The effect of nonmagnetic impurity scattering is included at the level of a self-consistent t-matrix approximation. It is found that low-frequency absorption (0<<2) takes place for any superconducting state with nodes of the energy gap on the Fermi surface. We demonstrate that the limiting low-frequency dependence of () on impurity concentrations can help to determine the structure of the order parameter in candidate systems such as heavy-electron compounds or high-Tc superconductors. We also discuss how strong scattering, similar to that observed in ordinary superconductors doped with Kondo impurities, may lead to absorption with a threshold of rather than 2 as in quasiisotropic systems. Finally, we consider the contribution of order-parameter collective modes to the electromagnetic absorption, and show that this absorption may be substantial and depends sensitively on the impurity scattering rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6695-6710
Number of pages16
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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