Infrared nanospectroscopy and imaging of collective superfluid excitations in anisotropic superconductors


We investigate near-field infrared spectroscopy and superfluid polariton imaging experiments on conventional and unconventional superconductors. Our modeling shows that near-field spectroscopy can measure the magnitude of the superconducting energy gap in Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer-like superconductors with nanoscale spatial resolution. We demonstrate how the same technique can measure the $c$-axis plasma frequency, and thus the $c$-axis superfluid density, of layered unconventional superconductors with a similar spatial resolution. Our modeling also shows that near-field techniques can image superfluid surface mode interference patterns near physical and electronic boundaries. We describe how these images can be used to extract the collective mode dispersion of anisotropic superconductors with subdiffractional spatial resolution.

In Physical Review B