Niobium in the Clean Limit: an Intrinsic Type I Superconductor
Ruslan Prozorov, Mehdi Zarea and J. A. Sauls
Physical Review B Letters, 106, L180505 (2022)
Niobium is one of the most researched superconductors, both theoretically and experimentally. It is enormously significant in all branches of superconducting applications, from powerful magnets to quantum computing. It is therefore imperative to understand its fundamental properties in great detail. Here, we use the results of recent microscopic calculations of anisotropic electronic, phonon, and superconducting properties, and apply a thermodynamic criterion for the type of superconductivity, more accurate and straightforward than a conventional Ginzburg-Landau parameter κ-based delineation, to show that pure niobium is a type-I superconductor in the clean limit. However, disorder (impurities, defects, strain, stress) pushes it to become a type-II superconductor.
- Comment: 4 pages, 1 figures