Enabled by our recent development of high resolution, dilution fridge-based STM, we have uncovered new insights on the superconductivity of heavy fermions, a class of materials whose unconventional superconductivity may share a common origin as the high-Tc cuprates. By examining the pair-breaking effect of single impurities in the prototypical heavy fermion CeCoIn5, we directly pinpoint the d-wave pairing symmetry in this material. Further, we reveal that superconductivity emerges within a spectroscopic gap near the Fermi energy in the normal state, potentially analogous to the "pseudogap" physics of the cuprates.
Published in Nature Physics:
Visualizing nodal heavy fermion superconductivity, Brian B. Zhou, Shashank Misra, Eduardo H. da Silva Neto, Pegor Aynajian, Ryan E. Baumbach, J. D. Thompson, Eric D. Bauer, and Ali Yazdani, Nature Physics 9, 474 (2013). (Article)