Europhys. Lett, 48 (3), pp. 306-312 (1999)
Spin-orbit scattering in d-wave superconductors
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne,
CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
(received 30 April 1999; accepted in final form 3 September 1999)
PACS. 74.20Fg - BCS theory and its development.
PACS. 71.70Ej - Spin-orbit coupling, Zeeman and Stark splitting, Jahn-Teller effect.
PACS. 74.62Dh - Effects of crystal defects, doping and substitution.
When non-magnetic impurities are introduced in a d-wave superconductor, both thermodynamic and spectral properties are strongly affected if the impurity potential is close to the strong resonance limit. In addition to the scalar impurity potential, the charge carriers are also spin-orbit coupled to the impurities. Here it is shown that i) close to the unitarity limit for the impurity scattering, the spin-orbit contribution is of the same order of magnitude as the scalar scattering and cannot be neglected, ii) the spin-orbit scattering is pair-breaking and iii) induces a small idxy component to the off-diagonal part of the self-energy.
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