skip to main content

Title: Magnetic Monopoles and Superinsulation in Josephson Junction Arrays
Electric-magnetic duality or S-duality, extending the symmetry of Maxwell’s equations by including the symmetry between Noether electric charges and topological magnetic monopoles, is one of the most fundamental concepts of modern physics. In two-dimensional systems harboring Cooper pairs, S-duality manifests in the emergence of superinsulation, a state dual to superconductivity, which exhibits an infinite resistance at finite temperatures. The mechanism behind this infinite resistance is the linear charge confinement by a magnetic monopole plasma. This plasma constricts electric field lines connecting the charge–anti-charge pairs into electric strings, in analogy to quarks within hadrons. However, the origin of the monopole plasma remains an open question. Here, we consider a two-dimensional Josephson junction array (JJA) and reveal that the magnetic monopole plasma arises as quantum instantons, thus establishing the underlying mechanism of superinsulation as two-dimensional quantum tunneling events. We calculate the string tension and the dimension of an electric pion determining the minimal size of a system capable of hosting superinsulation. Our findings pave the way for study of fundamental S-duality in desktop experiments on JJA and superconducting films.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Quantum Reports
Page Range / eLocation ID:
388 to 399
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. A bstract On-shell methods are particularly suited for exploring the scattering of electrically and magnetically charged objects, for which there is no local and Lorentz invariant Lagrangian description. In this paper we show how to construct a Lorentz-invariant S -matrix for the scattering of electrically and magnetically charged particles, without ever having to refer to a Dirac string. A key ingredient is a revision of our fundamental understanding of multi-particle representations of the Poincaré group. Surprisingly, the asymptotic states for electric-magnetic scattering transform with an additional little group phase, associated with pairs of electrically and magnetically charged particles. The corresponding “pairwise helicity” is identified with the quantized “cross product” of charges, e 1 g 2 − e 2 g 1 , for every charge-monopole pair, and represents the extra angular momentum stored in the asymptotic electromagnetic field. We define a new kind of pairwise spinor-helicity variable, which serves as an additional building block for electric-magnetic scattering amplitudes. We then construct the most general 3-point S -matrix elements, as well as the full partial wave decomposition for the 2 → 2 fermion-monopole S -matrix. In particular, we derive the famous helicity flip in the lowest partial wave as a simple consequence of a generalized spin-helicity selection rule, as well as the full angular dependence for the higher partial waves. Our construction provides a significant new achievement for the on-shell program, succeeding where the Lagrangian description has so far failed. 
    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    The angular momentum of any quantum system should beunambiguouslyquantized. We show that such a quantization fails for a pure Dirac monopole due to a previously overlooked field angular momentum from the monopole-electric charge system coming from the magnetic field of the Dirac string and the electric field of the charge. Applying the point-splitting method to the monopole-charge system yields a total angular momentum which obeys the standard angular momentum algebra, but which is gaugevariant. In contrast it is possible to properly quantize the angular momentum of a topological ’t Hooft–Polyakov monopole plus charge. This implies that pure Dirac monopoles are not viable – only ’t Hooft–Polyakov monopoles are theoretically consistent with angular momentum quantization and gauge invariance.

    more » « less
  3. Resistivity saturation is found on both superconducting and insulating sides of an “avoided” magnetic-field-tuned superconductor-to-insulator transition (H-SIT) in a two-dimensional In/InO x composite, where the anomalous metallic behavior cuts off conductivity or resistivity divergence in the zero-temperature limit. The granular morphology of the material implies a system of Josephson junctions (JJs) with a broad distribution of Josephson coupling E J and charging energy E C , with an H-SIT determined by the competition between E J and E C . By virtue of self-duality across the true H-SIT, we invoke macroscopic quantum tunneling effects to explain the temperature-independent resistance where the “failed superconductor” side is a consequence of phase fluctuations and the “failed insulator” side results from charge fluctuations. While true self-duality is lost in the avoided transition, its vestiges are argued to persist, owing to the incipient duality of the percolative nature of the dissipative path in the underlying random JJ system. 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract In two-dimensional (2D) NbSe 2 crystal, which lacks inversion symmetry, strong spin-orbit coupling aligns the spins of Cooper pairs to the orbital valleys, forming Ising Cooper pairs (ICPs). The unusual spin texture of ICPs can be further modulated by introducing magnetic exchange. Here, we report unconventional supercurrent phase in van der Waals heterostructure Josephson junctions (JJs) that couples NbSe 2 ICPs across an atomically thin magnetic insulator (MI) Cr 2 Ge 2 Te 6 . By constructing a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID), we measure the phase of the transferred Cooper pairs in the MI JJ. We demonstrate a doubly degenerate nontrivial JJ phase ( ϕ ), formed by momentum-conserving tunneling of ICPs across magnetic domains in the barrier. The doubly degenerate ground states in MI JJs provide a two-level quantum system that can be utilized as a new dissipationless component for superconducting quantum devices. Our work boosts the study of various superconducting states with spin-orbit coupling, opening up an avenue to designing new superconducting phase-controlled quantum electronic devices. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Magnetic topological states refer to a class of exotic phases in magnetic materials with the non‐trivial topological property determined by magnetic spin configurations. An example of such states is the quantum anomalous Hall (QAH) state, which is a zero magnetic field manifestation of the quantum Hall effect. Current research in this direction focuses on QAH insulators with a thickness of less than 10 nm. Here, molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) is employed to synthesize magnetic TI trilayers with a thickness of up to ≈106 nm. It is found that these samples exhibit well‐quantized Hall resistance and vanishing longitudinal resistance at zero magnetic field. By varying the magnetic dopants, gate voltages, temperature, and external magnetic fields, the properties of these thick QAH insulators are examined and the robustness of the 3D QAH effect is demonstrated. The realization of the well‐quantized 3D QAH effect indicates that the nonchiral side surface states of the thick magnetic TI trilayers are gapped and thus do not affect the QAH quantization. The 3D QAH insulators of hundred‐nanometer thickness provide a promising platform for the exploration of fundamental physics, including axion physics and image magnetic monopole, and the advancement of electronic and spintronic devices to circumvent Moore's law.

    more » « less