Muon Spin Relaxation Studies of Unconventional Superconductors: First-Order Behavior and Comparable Spin-Charge Energy Scales

Part of the Springer Series in Solid-State Sciences book series (SSSOL, volume 180)


Since the late 1980s, the muon spin rotation and relaxation (\(\mu \)SR) method has been extensively applied to studies of unconventional superconductors, including high-\(T_{c}\) cuprate, ruthenate, FeAs, organic, and heavy-fermion systems. With its unique sensitivity to static magnetic order in both long-range ordered and random spin systems, \(\mu \)SR has played a leading role in determining magnetic phase diagrams and elucidating the evolution from the parent antiferromagnetic state to the superconducting state in these systems. The extremely high sensitivity of \(\mu \)SR to small static magnetic fields allowed studies of time-reversal symmetry breaking in the superconducting state of Sr\({}_{2}\)RuO\({}_{4}\) and several other systems and in the pseudogap region of cuprate systems. \(\mu \)SR measurements of the London penetration depth and the superfluid density led to a unique characterization of the pairing symmetry and energy scales of superconducting charges. In this paper, we review the historical developments and recent progress of \(\mu \)SR studies in unconventional superconductors which revealed, among others, scaling of the superfluid density and \(T_{c}\), comparable spin and charge energy scales, phase separation between superconducting and non-superconducting volumes, and first-order quantum evolution at phase boundaries. We discuss these results in terms of quantum criticality, crossover from Bose Einstein to BCS condensation, and the influence of competing states via inelastic soft modes.


Unconventional Superconductors Muon Spin Static Magnetic Order Superfluid Density Cuprate Systems 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The author would like to thank Graeme Luke for collaboration on \(\mu \)SR studies continuing since 1988, all the authors of cited \(\mu \)SR references for their important contributions on studies of unconventional superconductors, and to members of Super-PIRE for collaboration on recent multiprobe studies on FeAs superconductors. This work was supported by US NSF with the individual grant DMR-1105961 and PIRE project OISE-0968226, and by JAEA with the Reimei project.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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