We discuss the superfluid phase transition of a strongly interacting Fermi gas with unequal (asymmetric) chemical potentials in two pairing hyperfine states, and map out its phase diagram near the BCS-BEC crossover. Our approach includes the fluctuation contributions of "preformed Cooper pairs" to the thermodynamic potential at finite temperature. We show that, below a critical difference in chemical potentials between species, a normal gas is unstable towards the formation of either a finite-momentum paired Fulde-Ferrell-Larkin-Ovchinnikov superconducting phase or a uniform superfluid, depending on the asymmetry and interaction strengths. We determine the value of critical chemical potential mismatch, and find that it is consistent with a recent measurement by Zwierlein et al. (Science, 311 (2006) 492).
Vol. 75, no. 3 (Aug 2006), pp. 364-370