For various sample geometries (slabs, cylinders, spheres, hypercubes), de Gennes' boundary condition parameter b is used to study its effect upon the transition temperature Tc of a superconductor. For b > 0 the order parameter at the surface is decreased, and as a consequence Tc is reduced, while for b < 0 the order parameter at the surface is increased, thereby enhancing Tc of a specimen in zero magnetic field. Exact solutions, derived by Fink and Haley (Int. J. mod. Phys. B, 17, 2171 (2003)), of the order parameter of a slab of finite thickness as a function of temperature are presented, both for reduced and enhanced transition (nucleation) temperatures. At the nucleation temperature the order parameter approaches zero. This concise review closes with a link established between de Gennes' microscopic boundary condition and the Ginzburg-Landau phenomenological approach, and a discussion of some relevant experiments. For example, applying the boundary condition with b < 0 to tin whiskers elucidates the increase of Tc with strain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry