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Advances in Condensed Matter Physics
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 104379, 25 pages
Review Article

Electrodynamics of Metallic Superconductors

1. Physikalisches Institut, Universität Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 57, 70550 Stuttgart, Germany

Received 11 April 2013; Revised 23 May 2013; Accepted 9 June 2013

Academic Editor: Victor V. Moshchalkov

Copyright © 2013 M. Dressel. 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.


The theoretical and experimental aspects of the microwave, terahertz, and infrared properties of superconductors are discussed. Electrodynamics can provide information about the superconducting condensate as well as about the quasiparticles. The aim is to understand the frequency dependence of the complex conductivity, the change with temperature and time, and its dependence on material parameters. We confine ourselves to conventional metallic superconductors, in particular, Nb and related nitrides and review the seminal papers but also highlight latest developments and recent experimental achievements. The possibility to produce well-defined thin films of metallic superconductors that can be tuned in their properties allows the exploration of fundamental issues, such as the superconductor-insulator transition; furthermore it provides the basis for the development of novel and advanced applications, for instance, superconducting single-photon detectors.