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We present low-temperature tunneling density of states measurements of Pauli-limited Al films in which the Zeeman and orbital contributions to the critical field are comparable. We show that films in the thickness range of 6-7 nm exhibit a reentrant parallel critical field transition which is associated with a high-entropy superconducting phase, similar to the high-entropy solid phase of He3 responsible for the Pomeranchuk effect. This phase is characterized by an excess of states near the Fermi energy so long as the parallel critical field transition remains second order. Theoretical fits to the zero-bias tunneling conductance are in good agreement with the data well below the transition but theory deviates significantly near the transition. The discrepancy is a consequence of the emergence of e-e interaction correlations as one enters the normal state. © 2006 The American Physical Society.

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Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics