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Keywords:

  • Superconductivity;
  • Layered materials;
  • Fulde-Ferrell effect

Abstract

The phase diagram of a layered superconductor in a large parallel magnetic field is calculated. This includes a calculation of the lower critical field beyond which the superconductor is in the FFLO-state and possesses a spatially modulated order parameter and spin polarization. The order parameter, spin polarization, free-energy density, and phase boundaries of this unconventional superconducting phase are evaluated numerically in the complete B–T plane. The analysis suggests that the transition at the lower critical field is of second order, and not of first order, as previously assumed. The order parameter of the FFLO-state merges continuously into the uniform superconducting state.