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Vertices and vortices in high Tc superconductors Amin, Mohammad H. Sharifzadeh

Abstract

This thesis is organized in two independent parts, in which I study two different aspects of high Tc superconductivity. The first part begins with an introduction aimed to briefly introduce some relevant experimental and theoretical works performed in recent years, that have helped us to think about cuprates the way we do now. Afterwards, I introduce Landau Fermi liquid theory in a standard text book way. The question of validity of Fermi liquid theory in 2-d is then raised and investigated by searching for singularities in Landau's /-function. I show that the interaction function between two quasiparticles whose momenta approach each other near a curved point of the Fermi surface, contains a 1-d singularity not strong enough to change the Fermi liquid behavior. On the other hand, inflection points provide 2-d singularities that have to be taken seriously in Fermi liquid considerations. I then introduce nearly antiferromagnetic Fermi liquid theory (NAFL), which is a phenomenological theory proposed to describe high Tc systems. I mainly focus on the self-consistency of the theory in calculations. I criticize the theory on the basis of overlooking the vertex corrections in the strong coupling calculations of the transition temperature Tc. I calculate the first vertex correction for an optimally doped system and show that it is of the same order of magnitude as the bare vertex. Migdal's theorem is therefore not valid and Eliashberg formalism is not applicable to this situation. The same conclusion is obtained even after inclusion of the quasiparticle residue Z to the calculation. The sign of the vertex correction is then considered. I show that the positive sign of the vertex correction for the optimally doped system requires a phase transition of some sort as the doping is decreased. Part II of the thesis is devoted to the vortex lattice properties of high Tc superconductors. I establish a method to study vortex lattice properties of d-wave superconductors based on a generalization of the London model. The method has the advantage of simplicity as well as having very few free parameters (one at most) compared to other methods. The generalized London free energy is obtained from an s-d mixing Ginsburg-Landau free energy and also from the microscopic theory of Gorkov. The generalized London equation is found to be analytic at high temperatures. At very low temperatures however nonanalyticities arise as a result of the nodes on the superconducting gap. I then present the results of our calculations of some measurable quantities, such as the vortex lattice geometry and the effective penetration depth (as denned in μSR experiments). Comparison between our results and different experimental data is then performed. Especially our prediction for the magnetic field dependence of the effective penetration depth at T = 0, which is recently observed in //SR experiments with excellent agreement, is discussed.

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