Abstract:
This is a review of recent advances in our understanding of how Andreev reflection at a superconductor modifies the excitation spectrum of a quantum dot. The emphasis is on two-dimensional impurity-free structures in which the classical dynamics is chaotic. Such Andreev billiards differ in a fundamental way from their non-superconducting counterparts. Most notably, the difference between chaotic and integrable classical dynamics shows up already in the level density, instead of only in the level--level correlations. A chaotic billiard has a gap in the spectrum around the Fermi energy, while integrable billiards have a linearly vanishing density of states. The excitation gap E_gap corresponds to a time scale h/E_gap which is classical (h-independent, equal to the mean time t_dwell between Andreev reflections) if t_dwell is sufficiently large. There is a competing quantum time scale, the Ehrenfest time t_E, which depends logarithmically on h. Two phenomenological theories provide a consistent description of the t_E-dependence of the gap, given qualitatively by E_gap min(h/t_dwell,h/t_E). The analytical predictions have been tested by computer simulations but not yet experimentally.

Abstract:
We studied the energy levels of graphene based Andreev billiards consisting of a superconductor region on top of a monolayer graphene sheet. For the case of Andreev retro-reflection we show that the graphene based Andreev billiard can be mapped to the normal metal-superconducting billiards with the same geometry. We also derived a semiclassical quantization rule in graphene based Andreev billiards. The exact and the semiclassically obtained spectrum agree very well both for the case of Andreev retro-reflection and specular Andreev reflection.

Abstract:
We present numerical results for the local density of states in semiclassical Andreev billiards. We show that the energy gap near the Fermi energy develops in a chaotic billiard. Using the same method no gap is found in similar square and circular billiards.

Abstract:
Quantum cavities or dots have markedly different properties depending on whether their classical counterparts are chaotic or not. Connecting a superconductor to such a cavity leads to notable proximity effects, particularly the appearance, predicted by random matrix theory, of a hard gap in the excitation spectrum of quantum chaotic systems. Andreev billiards are interesting examples of such structures built with superconductors connected to a ballistic normal metal billiard since each time an electron hits the superconducting part it is retroreflected as a hole (and vice-versa). Using a semiclassical framework for systems with chaotic dynamics, we show how this reflection, along with the interference due to subtle correlations between the classical paths of electrons and holes inside the system, are ultimately responsible for the gap formation. The treatment can be extended to include the effects of a symmetry breaking magnetic field in the normal part of the billiard or an Andreev billiard connected to two phase shifted superconductors. Therefore we are able to see how these effects can remold and eventually suppress the gap. Furthermore the semiclassical framework is able to cover the effect of a finite Ehrenfest time which also causes the gap to shrink. However for intermediate values this leads to the appearance of a second hard gap - a clear signature of the Ehrenfest time.

Abstract:
We study the effect on the density of states in mesoscopic ballistic billiards to which a superconducting lead is attached. The expression for the density of states is derived in the semiclassical S-matrix formalism shedding insight into the origin of the differences between the semiclassical theory and the corresponding result derived from random matrix models. Applications to a square billiard geometry and billiards with boundary roughness are discussed. The saturation of the quasiparticle excitation spectrum is related to the classical dynamics of the billiard. The influence of weak magnetic fields on the proximity effect in rough Andreev billiards is discussed and an analytical formula is derived. The semiclassical theory provides an interpretation for the suppression of the proximity effect in the presence of magnetic fields as a coherence effect of time reversed trajectories, similar to the weak localisation correction of the magneto-resistance in chaotic mesoscopic systems. The semiclassical theory is shown to be in good agreement with quantum mechanical calculations.

Abstract:
The energy spectrum and the eigenstates of a rectangular quantum dot containing soft potential walls in contact with a superconductor are calculated by solving the Bogoliubov-de Gennes (BdG) equation. We compare the quantum mechanical solutions with a semiclassical analysis using a Bohr--Sommerfeld (BS) quantization of periodic orbits. We propose a simple extension of the BS approximation which is well suited to describe Andreev billiards with parabolic potential walls. The underlying classical periodic electron-hole orbits are directly identified in terms of ``scar'' like features engraved in the quantum wavefunctions of Andreev states determined here for the first time.

Abstract:
Recently semiclassical approximations have been successfully applied to study the effect of a superconducting lead on the density of states and conductance in ballistic billiards. However, the summation over classical trajectories involved in such theories was carried out using the intuitive picture of Andreev reflection rather than the semiclassical reasoning. We propose a method to calculate the semiclassical sums which allows us to go beyond the diagonal approximation in these problems. In particular, we address the question of whether the off-diagonal corrections could explain the gap in the density of states of a chaotic Andreev billiard.

Abstract:
Andreev billiards are finite, arbitrarily-shaped, normal-state regions, surrounded by superconductor. At energies below the superconducting energy gap, single-quasiparticle excitations are confined to the normal region and its vicinity, the mechanism for confinement being Andreev reflection. Short-wave quantal properties of these excitations, such as the connection between the density of states and the geometrical shape of the billiard, are addressed via a multiple scattering approach. It is shown that one can, inter alia, hear the stationary chords of Andreev billiards.

Abstract:
The classification of universality classes of random-matrix theory has recently been extended beyond the Wigner-Dyson ensembles. Several of the novel ensembles can be discussed naturally in the context of superconducting-normal hybrid systems. In this paper, we give a semiclassical interpretation of their spectral form factors for both quantum graphs and Andreev billiards.

Abstract:
An Andreev billiard was realized in an array of niobium filled antidots in a high-mobility InAs/AlGaSb heterostructure. Below the critical temperature T_C of the Nb dots we observe a strong reduction of the resistance around B=0 and a suppression of the commensurability peaks, which are usually found in antidot lattices. Both effects can be explained in a classical Kubo approach by considering the trajectories of charge carriers in the semiconductor, when Andreev reflection at the semiconductor-superconductor interface is included. For perfect Andreev reflection, we expect a complete suppression of the commensurability features, even though motion at finite B is chaotic.