Effect of amplitude fluctuations on the Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless transition Academic Article uri icon


  • The Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless (BKT) transition is a generic transition describing the loss of coherence in two-dimensional systems and has been invoked, for example, to describe the superconductor-insulator transition in thin films. However, recent experiments have shown that the BKT transition, driven by phase fluctuations, is not sufficient to describe the loss of superconducting order, and amplitude fluctuations must also be taken into account. The standard models that are extensively used to model two-dimensional superconductors are the Hubbard and $\mathit{XY}$ models. Whereas the $\mathit{XY}$ model allows only phase fluctuations, the Hubbard model has an extra degree of freedom: amplitude fluctuations. In this paper we compare two Hubbard models with the same critical temperature but with different interactions and deduce the role of the amplitude fluctuations in the superconducting transition. For this purpose, a novel approximation is presented and used. We derive an effective phase-only ($\mathit{XY}$) Hamiltonian, incorporating amplitude fluctuations in an explicit temperature dependence of the phase rigidity. We study the relation between amplitude fluctuations and coupling strength. Our results support existing claims about the suppression of phase rigidity due to amplitude fluctuations not present in the $\mathit{XY}$ model.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013