"Spin-orbit coupling and odd-parity superconductivity in the quasi-one-dimensional compound Li0.9Mo6O17"

Christian Platt: Weejee Cho, Ross H. McKenzie, Ronny Thomale, and S. Raghu; American Physical Society, 06/23/16.

Additional Authors: Weejee Cho, Ross H. McKenzie, Ronny Thomale, and S. Raghu

Abstract:

Previous theoretical studies [W. Cho, C. Platt, R. H. McKenzie, and S. Raghu, Phys. Rev. B 92, 134514 (2015); N. Lera and J. V. Alvarez, Phys. Rev. B 92, 174523 (2015)] have suggested that Li0.9Mo6O17, a quasi-one-dimensional “purple bronze” compound, exhibits spin-triplet superconductivity and that the gap function changes sign across the two nearly degenerate Fermi surface sheets. We investigate the role of spin-orbit coupling (SOC) in determining the symmetry and orientation of the d vector associated with the superconducting order parameter. We propose that the lack of local inversion symmetry within the four-atom unit cell leads to a spin-orbit coupling analogous to that proposed for graphene, MoS2, or SrPtAs. In addition, from a weak-coupling renormalization group treatment of an effective model Hamiltonian, we find that SOC favors the odd parity A1u state with Sz=±1 over the B states with Sz=0, where z denotes the least-conducting direction. We discuss possible definitive experimental signatures of this superconducting state.