Quantal Andreev billiards: Semiclassical approach to mesoscale oscillations in the density of states

I Adagideli, PM Goldbart

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Andreev billiards are finite, arbitrarily-shaped, normal-state regions, surrounded by superconductor. At energies below the superconducting gap, single-quasiparticle excitations are confined to the normal region and its vicinity, the essential mechanism for this confinement being Andreev reflection. This Paper develops and implements a theoretical framework for the investigation of the short-wave quantal properties of these single-quasiparticle excitations. The focus is primarily on the relationship between the quasiparticle energy eigenvalue spectrum and the geometrical shape of the normal-state region, i.e. the question of spectral geometry in the novel setting of excitations confined by a superconducting pair-potential. Among the central results of this investigation are two semiclassical trace formulas for the density of states. The first, a lower-resolution formula, corresponds to the well-known quasiclassical approximation, conventionally invoked in settings involving superconductivity. The second, a higher-resolution formula, allows the density of states to be expressed in terms of: (i) An explicit formula for the level density, valid in the short-wave limit, for billiards of arbitrary shape and dimensionality. This level density depends on the billiard shape only through the set of stationary-length chords of the billiard and the curvature of the boundary at the endpoints of these chords; and (ii) Higher-resolution corrections to the level density, expressed as a sum over periodic orbits that creep around the billiard boundary. Owing to the fact that these creeping orbits are much longer than the stationary chords, one can, inter alia, "hear" the stationary chords of Andreev billiards.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1381-1458
JournalInternational journal of modern physics B
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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