Volume 107, Number 4, August 2014
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Electronic Structure, Electrical, Magnetic and Optical Properties|
|Published online||12 August 2014|
High-resolution tunnel fluctuoscopy
1 Materials Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory - Argonne, IL 60439, USA
2 Department of Physics, Northern Illinois University - DeKalb, IL 60115, USA
3 CNR-SPIN - Viale del Politecnico 1, I-00133 Rome, Italy
Received: 2 June 2014
Accepted: 23 July 2014
Electron tunneling spectroscopy pioneered by Esaki and Giaever offered a powerful tool for studying electronic spectra and density of states (DOS) in superconductors. This led to important discoveries that revealed, in particular, the pseudogap in the tunneling spectrum of superconductors above their critical temperatures. However, the phenomenological approach of Giaever and Megerle does not resolve the fine structure of low-bias behavior carrying significant information about electron scattering, interactions, and decoherence effects. Here we construct a complete microscopic theory of electron tunneling into a superconductor in the fluctuation regime. We reveal a non-trivial low-energy anomaly in tunneling conductivity due to Andreev-like reflections of injected electrons from superconducting fluctuations. Our findings enable real-time observation of fluctuating Cooper pairs dynamics by time-resolved scanning tunneling microscopy measurements and open new horizons for quantitative analysis of the fluctuation electronic spectra of superconductors.
PACS: 74.40.-n – Fluctuation phenomena / 74.25.F- – Transport properties / 74.78.-w – Superconducting films and low-dimensional structures
© EPLA, 2014
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