Superconductivity in Empty Bands and Multiple Order Parameter Chirality

Robert Joynt*, Wen Chin Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Recent experiments have shown rotation of the plane of polarization of light reflected from the surface of some superconductors. The photon energy exceeds the electronic bandwidth, so that completely filled or completely empty bands must play a role. We show that in strong-coupling theory a Coulomb interaction can produce an order parameter in the unoccupied band that explains the observations. Thus the phenomenology puts tight constraints on the form of the order parameter in different bands. We propose that the experiments have detected, for the first time, the existence of a superconducting order parameter in a band far from the Fermi energy. This is only possible because of the sensitivity to delicate symmetries: a positive Kerr effect indicates that time reversal and certain mirror symmetries are broken in the ordered phase. Furthermore, detailed analysis of the results implies that in UPt3 there exist bands that have different order parameter chiralities, opening up complex new possibilities for topological superconductivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12968
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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