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Advances in Condensed Matter Physics
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 792125, 7 pages
Research Article

Breakdown of Counterflow Superfluidity in a Disordered Quantum Hall Bilayer

1Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
2School of Physics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland
3Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 0HE, UK

Received 1 September 2010; Accepted 12 January 2011

Academic Editor: Yogesh Joglekar

Copyright © 2011 D. K. K. Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We present a theory for the regime of coherent interlayer tunneling in a disordered quantum Hall bilayer at total filling factor one, allowing for the effect of static vortices. We find that the system consists of domains of polarized superfluid phase. Injected currents introduce phase slips between the polarized domains which are pinned by disorder. We present a model of saturated tunneling domains that predicts a critical current for the breakdown of coherent tunneling that is extensive in the system size. This theory is supported by numerical results from a disordered phase model in two dimensions. We also discuss how our picture might be used to interpret experiments in the counterflow geometry and in two-terminal measurements.