Volume 82, Number 4, May 2008
Article Number 47006
Number of page(s) 6
Section Condensed Matter: Electronic Structure, Electrical, Magnetic and Optical Properties
Published online 08 May 2008
EPL, 82 (2008) 47006
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/82/47006

Decreasing excitation gap in Andreev billiards by disorder scattering

F. Libisch1, J. Möller1, S. Rotter2, M. G. Vavilov3 and J. Burgdörfer1

1  Institute for Theoretical Physics, Vienna University of Technology - A-1040 Vienna, Austria, EU
2  Department of Applied Physics, Yale University - New Haven, CT 06520, USA
3  Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin - Madison, WI 53706, USA

received 14 January 2008; accepted in final form 27 March 2008; published May 2008
published online 8 May 2008

We investigate the distribution of the lowest-lying energy states in a disordered Andreev billiard by solving the Bogoliubov-de Gennes equation numerically. Contrary to conventional predictions we find a decrease rather than an increase of the excitation gap relative to its clean ballistic limit. We relate this finding to the eigenvalue spectrum of the Wigner-Smith time delay matrix between successive Andreev reflections. We show that the longest rather than the mean time delay determines the size of the excitation gap. With increasing disorder strength the values of the longest delay times increase, thereby, in turn, reducing the excitation gap.

74.45.+c - Proximity effects; Andreev effect; SN and SNS junctions.
73.21.La - Electron states and collective excitations in multilayers, quantum wells, mesoscopic, and nanoscale systems: Quantum dots.
05.45.Mt - Quantum chaos; semiclassical methods.

© EPLA 2008