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1.
Nano Lett ; 22(14): 5715-5722, 2022 Jul 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35820103

RESUMO

Made of a thin non-superconducting metal (N) sandwiched by two superconductors (S), SNS Josephson junctions enable novel quantum functionalities by mixing up the intrinsic electronic properties of N with the superconducting correlations induced from S by proximity. Electronic properties of these devices are governed by Andreev quasiparticles (Andreev, A. Sov. Phys. JETP 1965, 20, 1490) which are absent in conventional SIS junctions whose insulating barrier (I) between the two S electrodes owns no electronic states. Here we focus on the Josephson vortex (JV) motion inside Nb-Cu-Nb proximity junctions subject to electric currents and magnetic fields. The results of local (magnetic force microscopy) and global (transport) experiments provided simultaneously are compared with our numerical model, revealing the existence of several distinct dynamic regimes of the JV motion. One of them, identified as a fast hysteretic entry/escape below the critical value of Josephson current, is analyzed and suggested for low-dissipative logic and memory elements.

2.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 13(28): 6400-6406, 2022 Jul 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35802799

RESUMO

Thin films of diluted magnetic alloys are widely used in superconducting spintronics devices. Most studies rely on transport measurements and assume homogeneous magnetic layers. Here we examine on a local scale the electronic properties of the well-known two-layer superconductor/ferromagnet structure Nb/CuNi. Scanning tunneling spectroscopy experiments demonstrated significant spatial variations of the tunneling conductance on nanoscale, with characteristic gapped, nongapped, and strongly zero-bias peaked spectra. The microscopic theory successfully reproduced the observed spectra and relied them to spatial variations of CuNi film thickness and composition, leading to strong variations of the effective exchange energy. The observed inhomogeneities put constraints on the use of diluted magnetic alloys in nanoscale devices.

3.
Nano Lett ; 22(2): 652-657, 2022 Jan 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34990554

RESUMO

Atomically thin superconductivity in Pb monolayers grown on Si(111) is affected by adding a tiny amount of Au atoms. In situ macroscopic electron transport measurements reveal that superconductivity develops at higher temperatures and manifests a sharper superconducting transition to zero resistance as compared to pristine Pb/Si(111). Scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy show that Au atoms decorate atomic step edges of Pb/Si(111) and link the electronic reservoirs of neighboring atomic terraces. The propagation of superconducting correlations across the edges is enhanced, facilitating the coherence between terraces and promoting macroscopic superconductivity at higher temperatures. This finding opens new ways to design and control Josephson junctions at the atomic scale.

4.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 12(51): 12196-12201, 2021 Dec 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34918928

RESUMO

Lateral Josephson junctions (LJJ) made of two superconducting Nb electrodes coupled by Cu-film are applied to quantify the stray magnetic field of Co-coated cantilevers used in magnetic force microscopy (MFM). The interaction of the magnetic cantilever with LJJ is reflected in the electronic response of LJJ as well as in the phase shift of cantilever oscillations, simultaneously measured. The phenomenon is theorized and used to establish the spatial map of the stray field. Based on our findings, we suggest integrating LJJs directly on the tips of cantilevers and using them as nanosensors of local magnetic fields in scanning probe microscopes. Such probes are less invasive than conventional magnetic MFM cantilevers and simpler to realize than SQUID-on-tip sensors.

5.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 12(37): 9068-9075, 2021 Sep 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34516738

RESUMO

We report on structural and electronic properties of superconducting nanohybrids made of Pb grown in the ultrahigh vacuum on the atomically clean surface of single crystals of topological Bi2Te3. In situ scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy demonstrated that the resulting network is composed of Pb-nanoislands dispersed on the surface and linked together by an amorphous atomic layer of Pb, which wets Bi2Te3. As a result, the superconducting state of the system is characterized by a thickness-dependent superconducting gap of Pb-islands and by a very unusual position-independent proximity gap between them. Furthermore, the data analysis and DFT calculations demonstrate that the Pb-wetting layer leads to significant modifications of both topological and trivial electronic states of Bi2Te3, which are responsible for the observed long-range proximity effect.

6.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 11(21): 9393-9399, 2020 Nov 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33095988

RESUMO

In pnictide RbEuFe4As4, superconductivity sets in at 36 K and coexists, below 15-19 K, with the long-range magnetic ordering of Eu 4f spins. Here we report scanning tunneling experiments performed on cold-cleaved single crystals of the compound. The data revealed the coexistence of large Rb-terminated and small Eu-terminated terraces, both manifesting 1 × 2 and 2×2 reconstructions. On 2×2 surfaces, a hidden electronic order with a period ∼5 nm was discovered. A superconducting gap of ∼7 meV was seen to be strongly filled with quasiparticle states. The tunneling spectra compared with density functional theory calculations confirmed that flat electronic bands due to Eu 4f orbitals are situated ∼1.8 eV below the Fermi level and thus do not contribute directly to Cooper pair formation.

7.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 11(4): 1594-1600, 2020 Feb 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32013453

RESUMO

The modification of graphene band structure, in particular via induced spin-orbit coupling, is currently a great challenge for the scientific community from both a fundamental and applied point of view. Here, we investigate the modification of the electronic structure of graphene (gr) initially adsorbed on Ir(111) via intercalation of one monolayer Pd by means of angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy and density functional theory. We reveal that for the gr/Pd/Ir(111) intercalated system, a spin splitting of graphene π states higher than 200 meV is present near the graphene K point. This spin separation arises from the hybridization of the graphene valence band states with spin-polarized quantum well states of a single Pd layer on Ir(111). Our results demonstrate that the proposed approach on the tailoring of the dimensionality of heavy materials interfaced with a graphene layer might lead to a giant spin-orbit splitting of the graphene valence band states.

9.
Nat Commun ; 10(1): 4009, 2019 Sep 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31488813

RESUMO

Josephson vortices play an essential role in superconducting quantum electronics devices. Often seen as purely conceptual topological objects, 2π-phase singularities, their observation and manipulation are challenging. Here we show that in Superconductor-Normal metal-Superconductor lateral junctions Josephson vortices have a peculiar magnetic fingerprint that we reveal in Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM) experiments. Based on this discovery, we demonstrate the possibility of the Josephson vortex generation and manipulation by the magnetic tip of a MFM, thus paving a way for the remote inspection and control of individual nano-components of superconducting quantum circuits.

10.
Nat Commun ; 10(1): 2587, 2019 06 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31197131

RESUMO

Majorana zero modes are fractional quantum excitations appearing in pairs, each pair being a building block for quantum computation. Some signatures of Majorana zero modes have been reported at endpoints of one-dimensional systems, which are however required to be extremely clean. An alternative are two-dimensional topological superconductors, such as the Pb/Co/Si(111) system shown recently to be immune to local disorder. Here, we use scanning tunneling spectroscopy to characterize a disordered superconducting monolayer of Pb coupled to underlying Co-Si magnetic islands. We show that pairs of zero modes are stabilized: one zero mode positioned in the middle of the magnetic domain and its partner extended all around the domain. The zero mode pair is remarkably robust, isolated within a hard superconducting gap. Our theoretical scenario supports the protected Majorana nature of this zero mode pair, highlighting the role of magnetic or spin-orbit coupling textures.

11.
Sci Adv ; 4(7): eaat1061, 2018 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30027117

RESUMO

The interplay between superconductivity and magnetism is one of the oldest enigmas in physics. Usually, the strong exchange field of ferromagnet suppresses singlet superconductivity via the paramagnetic effect. In EuFe2(As0.79P0.21)2, a material that becomes not only superconducting at 24.2 K but also ferromagnetic below 19 K, the coexistence of the two antagonistic phenomena becomes possible because of the unusually weak exchange field produced by the Eu subsystem. We demonstrate experimentally and theoretically that when the ferromagnetism adds to superconductivity, the Meissner state becomes spontaneously inhomogeneous, characterized by a nanometer-scale striped domain structure. At yet lower temperature and without any externally applied magnetic field, the system locally generates quantum vortex-antivortex pairs and undergoes a phase transition into a domain vortex-antivortex state characterized by much larger domains and peculiar Turing-like patterns. We develop a quantitative theory of this phenomenon and put forth a new way to realize superconducting superlattices and control the vortex motion in ferromagnetic superconductors by tuning magnetic domains-unprecedented opportunity to consider for advanced superconducting hybrids.

12.
Nat Commun ; 9(1): 2277, 2018 06 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29891870

RESUMO

Vortices in quantum condensates exist owing to a macroscopic phase coherence. Here we show, both experimentally and theoretically, that a quantum vortex with a well-defined core can exist in a rather thick normal metal, proximized with a superconductor. Using scanning tunneling spectroscopy we reveal a proximity vortex lattice at the surface of 50 nm-thick Cu-layer deposited on Nb. We demonstrate that these vortices have regular round cores in the centers of which the proximity minigap vanishes. The cores are found to be significantly larger than the Abrikosov vortex cores in Nb, which is related to the effective coherence length in the proximity region. We develop a theoretical approach that provides a fully self-consistent picture of the evolution of the vortex with the distance from Cu/Nb interface, the interface impedance, applied magnetic field, and temperature. Our work opens a way for the accurate tuning of the superconducting properties of quantum hybrids.

13.
Nat Commun ; 8(1): 2040, 2017 12 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29230031

RESUMO

Just like insulators can present topological phases characterized by Dirac edge states, superconductors can exhibit topological phases characterized by Majorana edge states. In particular, one-dimensional topological superconductors are predicted to host zero-energy Majorana fermions at their extremities. By contrast, two-dimensional superconductors have a one-dimensional boundary which would naturally lead to propagating Majorana edge states characterized by a Dirac-like dispersion. In this paper we present evidences of one-dimensional dispersive in-gap edge states surrounding a two-dimensional topological superconducting domain consisting of a monolayer of Pb covering magnetic Co-Si islands grown on Si(111). We interpret the measured dispersive in-gap states as a spatial topological transition with a gap closure. Our method could in principle be generalized to a large variety of heterostructures combining a Rashba superconductor with a magnetic layer in order to be used as a platform for engineering topological quantum phases.

14.
Nat Commun ; 8: 14549, 2017 02 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28240294

RESUMO

How small can superconductors be? For isolated nanoparticles subject to quantum size effects, P.W. Anderson in 1959 conjectured that superconductivity could only exist when the electronic level spacing δ is smaller than the superconducting gap energy Δ. Here we report a scanning tunnelling spectroscopy study of superconducting lead (Pb) nanocrystals grown on the (110) surface of InAs. We find that for nanocrystals of lateral size smaller than the Fermi wavelength of the 2D electron gas at the surface of InAs, the electronic transmission of the interface is weak; this leads to Coulomb blockade and enables the extraction of electron addition energy of the nanocrystals. For large nanocrystals, the addition energy displays superconducting parity effect, a direct consequence of Cooper pairing. Studying this parity effect as a function of nanocrystal volume, we find the suppression of Cooper pairing when the mean electronic level spacing overcomes the superconducting gap energy, thus demonstrating unambiguously the validity of the Anderson criterion.

15.
Nano Lett ; 13(8): 3648-53, 2013 Aug 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23826620

RESUMO

We study the Mott insulator compound GaTa4Se8 in which we previously discovered an electric-field-induced resistive transition. We show that the resistive switching is associated to the appearance of metallic and super-insulating nanodomains by means of scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/STS). Moreover, we show that local electronic transitions can be controlled at the nanoscale at room temperature using the electric field of the STM tip. This opens the way for possible applications in resistive random access memories (RRAM) devices.

16.
Phys Rev Lett ; 102(12): 127005, 2009 Mar 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-19392315

RESUMO

We report a detailed scanning tunneling microscopy study of a superconductor in a strong vortex confinement regime. This is achieved in a thin nanoisland of Pb having a size d about 3 times the coherence length, and a thickness h such that h<

17.
Adv Mater ; 20(14): 2760-5, 2008 Jul 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25213903

RESUMO

Experimental evidence of a nonvolatile electric-pulse-induced insulator-to-metal transition and possible superconductivity in the Mott insulator GaTa4 Se8 is reported. Scanning tunneling microscopy experiments show that this unconventional response of the system to short electric pulses arises from a nanometer-scale electronic phase separation generated in the bulk material.

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