Effect of interorbital scattering on superconductivity in doped Dirac semimetals

David Dentelski, Vladyslav Kozii, Jonathan Ruhman

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Unconventional superconductivity has been discovered in a variety of doped quantum materials, including topological insulators and semimetals. A unifying property of these systems is strong orbital hybridization, which leads to pairing of states with nontrivial Bloch wave functions. In contrast to naive expectation, however, many of these superconductors are relatively resilient to disorder. Here we study the interplay of superconductivity and disorder in doped three-dimensional Dirac systems, which serve as a paradigmatic dispersion in quantum materials, using Abrikosov-Gor'kov theory. In this way, the role of disorder is captured by a single parameter Γ, the pair scattering rate. In contrast to previous studies, we argue that interorbital scattering cannot be neglected due to the strong orbital hybridization in Dirac systems. We find that the robustness of different pairing states highly depends on the relative strength of the different interorbital scattering channels. In particular, we find that the "nematic"superconducting state, which is argued to be the ground state in many Bi2Se3-related compounds, is not protected from disorder in any way. The pair scattering rate in this case is at best smaller by a factor of 3 compared to systems without spin-orbit coupling. We also find that the odd-parity pairing state with total angular momentum zero (the B phase of superfluid He3) is protected against certain types of disorder, which include a family of time-reversal odd (magnetic) impurities. Namely, this odd-parity state is a singlet of partners under CT symmetry (rather than T symmetry in the standard Anderson's theory), where C and T are chiral and time-reversal symmetries, respectively. As a result, it is protected against any disorder potential that respects CT symmetry. Our procedure is very general and can be readily applied to different band structures and disorder configurations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number033302
JournalPhysical Review Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2020

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© 2020 authors. Published by the American Physical Society.


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