Upper critical magnetic field far above the paramagnetic pair-breaking limit of superconducting one-dimensional Li0:9Mo6O17 single crystals

Phys Rev Lett. 2012 May 4;108(18):187003. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.187003. Epub 2012 May 4.


The upper critical field H(c2) of purple bronze Li0:9Mo6O17 is found to exhibit a large anisotropy, in quantitative agreement with that expected from the observed electrical resistivity anisotropy. With the field aligned along the most conducting axis, H(c2) increases monotonically with decreasing temperature to a value 5 times larger than the estimated paramagnetic pair-breaking field. Theories for the enhancement of H(c2) invoking spin-orbit scattering or strong-coupling superconductivity are shown to be inadequate in explaining the observed behavior, suggesting that the pairing state in Li0:9Mo6O17 is unconventional and possibly spin triplet.