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Creating Nanostructured Superconductors by Local Current Annealing

Published

Author(s)

Hongwoo H. Baek, Jeonghoon Ha, Duming Zhang, Bharath NMN Natarajan, Jonathan P. Winterstein, Renu Sharma, Rongwei Hu, Kefeng Wang, Steven Ziemak, Johnpierre Paglione, Young Kuk, Nikolai B. Zhitenev, Joseph A. Stroscio

Abstract

Superconductivity results from a Bose condensate of Cooper-paired electrons with a macroscopic quantum wavefunction. Dramatic effects can occur when the region of the condensate is shaped and confined to the nanometer scale. Recent progress in nanostructured superconductors has revealed a route to topological superconductivity, with possible applications in quantum computing. However, challenges remain in controlling the shape and size of specific superconducting materials. Here, we report a new method to create nanostructured superconductors by partial crystallization of the half-Heusler material, YPtBi. Superconducting islands, with diameters in the range of 100 nm, were reproducibly created by local current annealing of disordered YPtBi in the tunneling junction of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM). We characterize the superconducting island properties by scanning tunneling spectroscopic measurements to determine the gap energy, critical temperature and field, coherence length, and vortex formations. These results show unique properties of a confined superconductor and demonstrate that this new method holds promise to create tailored superconductors for a wide variety of nanometer scale applications.
Citation
Physical Review B
Volume
92
Issue
9

Keywords

Superconductivity, scanning tunneling microscopy, scanning tunneling spectroscopy

Citation

Baek, H. , Ha, J. , Zhang, D. , , B. , Winterstein, J. , Sharma, R. , Hu, R. , Wang, K. , Ziemak, S. , Paglione, J. , Kuk, Y. , Zhitenev, N. and Stroscio, J. (2015), Creating Nanostructured Superconductors by Local Current Annealing, Physical Review B, [online], https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.92.094510 (Accessed May 17, 2022)
Created September 17, 2015, Updated November 10, 2018