3He in Aerogel – an Inhomogeneously Disordered Unconventional Superfluid

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Abstract

We have examined the superfluidity of 3He in 98.2% porous silica aerogel with up to 34% 4He at 21.6 bar. The mixture is phase-separated for 4He fractions between ∼ 11% and 34%. The 4He-rich, phase preferentially occupies the regions of highest silica density in the aerogel, thus modifying the distribution of the correlated disorder seen by superftuid 3He. The 3He Tc increases slightly with 4He content while the superfluid fraction decreases rapidly. This behavior is inconsistent with that of 3He in a homogeneously scattering medium and is analogous to that of a granular superconductor.

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