Critical tunneling currents in quantum Hall superfluids: Pseudospin-transfer torque theory

Jung-Jung Su*, Allan H. MacDonald

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


At total filling factor ν=1 quantum Hall bilayers can have an ordered ground state with spontaneous interlayer phase coherence. The ordered state is signaled experimentally by dramatically enhanced interlayer tunnel conductances at low-bias voltages; at larger bias voltages interlayer currents are similar to those of the disordered state. We associate this change in behavior with the existence of a critical current beyond which static interlayer phase differences cannot be maintained, and examine the dependence of this critical current on sample geometry, phase stiffness, and the coherent tunneling energy density. Our analysis is based in part on analogies between coherent bilayer behavior and spin-transfer torque physics in metallic ferromagnets. Comparison with recent experiments suggests that disorder can dramatically suppress critical currents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number184523
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number18
StatePublished - 20 May 2010

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