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Time-reversal symmetry breaking in superconductors through loop supercurrent order

Ghosh, Sudeep K., Annett, James F., Quintanilla, Jorge (2021) Time-reversal symmetry breaking in superconductors through loop supercurrent order. New Journal of Physics, 23 . Article Number 083018. ISSN 1367-2630. (doi:10.1088/1367-2630/ac17ba) (KAR id:69551)


We propose a novel superconducting ground state where microscopic supercurrent loops form spontaneously within a unit cell at the superconducting transition temperature with only uniform, onsite and intra-orbital singlet pairing. As a result of the circulating currents time-reversal symmetry (TRS) is spontaneously broken in the superconducting state. Using Ginzburg–Landau theory we describe in detail how these currents emerge in a toy model. We discuss the crystallographic symmetry requirements more generally to realize such a state and show that they are met by the Re6X (X = Zr, Hf, Ti) family of TRS-breaking, but otherwise seemingly conventional, superconductors. We estimate an upper bound for the resulting internal magnetic fields and find it to be consistent with recent muon-spin relaxation experiments.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1088/1367-2630/ac17ba
Uncontrolled keywords: Physics of Quantum Materials
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics > QC173.45 Condensed Matter
Q Science
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (
Leverhulme Trust (
Depositing User: Jorge Quintanilla Tizon
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2018 23:50 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 19:11 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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