Quantum phases of a weakly disordered Josephson ladder

Eyal Walach, Efrat Shimshoni

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Abstract

The interplay of interactions and disorder in low-dimensional superconductors supports the formation of multiple quantum phases as possible instabilities of the superconductor-insulator transition (SIT) at a singular quantum critical point. We explore a one-dimensional model which exhibits such a variety of phases in the strongly quantum fluctuations regime. Specifically, we study the effect of weak disorder on a two-leg Josephson ladder with comparable Josephson and charging energies (EJ∼EC). An additional key feature of our model is the requirement of perfect Z2 symmetry, respected by all parameters including the disorder. Using a perturbative renormalization-group (RG) analysis, we derive the phase diagram and identify at least one intermediate phase between a full-fledged superconductor and a disorder-dominated insulator. Most prominently, for repulsive interactions on the rungs we identify two distinct mixed phases: In both of them the longitudinal charge mode is a gapless superconductor, however one phase exhibits a dipolar charge density order on the rungs, while the other is disordered. This latter phase is characterized by coexisting superconducting (phase-locked) and charge-ordered rungs, and encompasses the potential of evolving into a Griffith's phase characteristic of the random-field Ising model in the strong disorder limit.

Original languageEnglish
Article number245301
JournalPhysical Review B
Volume103
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2021

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© 2021 American Physical Society.

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