Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations spatially coexist with antiferromagnetism.


(left) Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) image (perspective view) of a heterostructure interface consisting of two non-superconducting materials, namely a topological insulator as substrate and an ultrathin film of iron-telluride grown on top. The unit-cell high layer of FeTe exhibits simultaneously bi-collinear antiferromagnetic order as revealed by spin-resolved STM (right) and superconducting properties at the same location as measured by the spectroscopic STM mode (bottom).

Image source: S. Manna and R. Wiesendanger, University of Hamburg, Germany

Most remarkably, the team headed by Professor Roland Wiesendanger was able to observe this coexistence for the first time on the atomic scale using spin-resolved scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy.

These exciting results, reported in today’s issue of Nature Communications, challenge the understanding of the nature of electronic Cooper-pairing in iron based superconductors, which is the class of superconducting materials most heavily studied in recent years.

The discovery of high-temperature superconductivity in iron based compounds initiated numerous studies on the relationship between magnetic and superconducting order by various experimental and theoretical methods. Moreover, the unusual enhancement of the superconducting transition temperature by interface effects, as reported a few years ago for the case of ultrathin FeSe films grown on SrTiO₃ substrates, created additional excitement in the scientific community. Interestingly, in contrast to FeSe, the related compound FeTe does not exhibit a superconducting phase, but shows antiferromagnetic ordering up to a critical temperature of about 70 K.

Therefore, it is even more remarkable that ultrathin FeTe films grown on non-superconducting Bi₂Te₃ substrates show clear signs of superconductivity. The coupling of a superconductor to a topological insulator such as Bi₂Te₃, as realized in the experiments by the Hamburg group, is not only interesting from a fundamental research point of view:

It has been theoretically predicted that such hybrids can host Majorana Fermions in the center of superconducting vortex cores formed upon the application of an external magnetic field. Majorana Fermions are currently widely explored in different research disciplines as a new platform for fault-tolerant quantum computation. The fascinating results obtained for FeTe/Bi₂Te₃ heterostructures can therefore be regarded as an important step towards the experimental realization of such dreams.

Original publication:
Interfacial superconductivity in a bi-collinear anti-ferromagnetically ordered FeTe monolayer on a topological insulator,
S. Manna, A. Kamlapure, L. Cornils, T. Hänke, E. M. J. Hedegaard, M. Bremholm, B. B. Iversen, Ph. Hofmann, J. Wiebe, and R. Wiesendanger,
Nature Communications, online publication: 17.01.2017,
DOI: 10.1038/NCOMMS14074.

Further related work in the recent literature:
Reorientation of the diagonal double-stripe spin structure at Fe1+yTe bulk and thin film surfaces,
T. Hänke, U. R. Singh, L. Cornils, S. Manna, A. Kamlapure, M. Bremholm, E. M. J. Hedegaard, B. B. Iversen, Ph. Hofmann, J. Hu, Z. Mao, J. Wiebe, and R. Wiesendanger,
Nature Communications 8, 13939 (2017), online publication from 06.01.2017.

Primary research funding:
We are particularly grateful for research funding by the European Research Council in the framework of the ERC Advanced Grant ASTONISH.

Additional information:
Prof. Dr. Roland Wiesendanger
University of Hamburg
Jungiusstr. 9A/11A
D-20355 Hamburg
Germany
E-Mail: wiesendanger@physnet.uni-hamburg.de
Phone.: +49- 40 - 4 28 38 - 52 44

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.nanoscience.de
http://www.nanoscience.de/astonish

Heiko Fuchs | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Barely scratching the surface: A new way to make robust membranes
13.12.2018 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht Topological material switched off and on for the first time
11.12.2018 | ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When a fish becomes fluid

17.12.2018 | Studies and Analyses

Progress in Super-Resolution Microscopy

17.12.2018 | Life Sciences

How electric heating could save CO2 emissions

17.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>