Isotope Effect in the Presence of Magnetic and Nonmagnetic Impurities

Research paper by L. A. Openov, I. A. Semenihin, R. Kishore

Indexed on: 15 Jun '01Published on: 15 Jun '01Published in: Physics - Superconductivity


The effect of impurities on the isotope coefficient is studied theoretically in the framework of Abrikosov-Gor'kov approach generalized to account for both potential and spin-flip scattering in anisotropic superconductors. An expression for the isotope coefficient as a function of the critical temperature is obtained for a superconductor with an arbitrary contribution of spin-flip processes to the total scattering rate and an arbitrary degree of anisotropy of the superconducting order parameter, ranging from isotropic s-wave to d-wave and including anisotropic s-wave and mixed (s+d)-wave as particular cases. It is found that both magnetic and nonmagnetic impurities enhance the isotope coefficient, the enhancement due to magnetic impurities being generally greater than that due to nonmagnetic impurities. From the analysis of the experimental results on La-Sr-Cu-M-O high temperature superconductor, it is concluded that the symmetry of the pairing state in this system differs from a pure d-wave.