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Theory of coherent phase modes in insulating Josephson junction chains

TitleTheory of coherent phase modes in insulating Josephson junction chains
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsH-K. Wu, and J. D. Sau
JournalPhys. Rev. B
Date PublishedJUN 21
Type of ArticleArticle

Recent microwave reflection measurements of Josephson junction chains have suggested the presence of nearly coherent collective charge oscillations deep in the insulating phase. Here we develop a qualitative understanding of such coherent charge modes by studying the local dynamical polarizability of the insulating phase of a finite length sine-Gordon model. By considering parameters near the noninteracting fermion limit where the charge operator dominantly couples to soliton-antisoliton pairs of the sine-Gordon model, we find that the local dynamical polarizability shows an array of sharp peaks in frequency representing coherent phase oscillations on top of an incoherent background. The strength of the coherent peaks relative to the incoherent background increases as a power law in frequency as well as exponentially as the Luttinger parameter approaches a critical value. The dynamical polarizability also clearly shows the insulating gap. We then compare the results in the high frequency limit to a perturbative estimate of phase-slip-induced decay of plasmons in the Josephson junction chain.