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Title: Ultrathin two-dimensional superconductivity with strong spin–orbit coupling

Abstract

We report on a study of epitaxially grown ultrathin Pb films that are only a few atoms thick and have parallel critical magnetic fields much higher than the expected limit set by the interaction of electron spins with a magnetic field, that is, the Clogston–Chandrasekhar limit. The epitaxial thin films are classified as dirty-limit superconductors because their mean-free paths, which are limited by surface scattering, are smaller than their superconducting coherence lengths. The uniformity of superconductivity in these thin films is established by comparing scanning tunneling spectroscopy, scanning superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometry, double-coil mutual inductance, and magneto-transport, data that provide average superfluid rigidity on length scales covering the range from microscopic to macroscopic. We argue that the survival of superconductivity at Zeeman energies much larger than the superconducting gap can be understood only as the consequence of strong spin–orbit coupling that, together with substrate-induced inversion-symmetry breaking, produces spin splitting in the normal-state energy bands that is much larger than the superconductor’s energy gap.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1321028
Grant/Contract Number:  
FG02-08ER46533; FG02- 07ER46420
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Journal Volume: 113 Journal Issue: 38; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Nam, Hyoungdo, Chen, Hua, Liu, Tijiang, Kim, Jisun, Zhang, Chendong, Yong, Jie, Lemberger, Thomas R., Kratz, Philip A., Kirtley, John R., Moler, Kathryn, Adams, Philip W., MacDonald, Allan H., and Shih, Chih-Kang. Ultrathin two-dimensional superconductivity with strong spin–orbit coupling. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1073/pnas.1611967113.
Nam, Hyoungdo, Chen, Hua, Liu, Tijiang, Kim, Jisun, Zhang, Chendong, Yong, Jie, Lemberger, Thomas R., Kratz, Philip A., Kirtley, John R., Moler, Kathryn, Adams, Philip W., MacDonald, Allan H., & Shih, Chih-Kang. Ultrathin two-dimensional superconductivity with strong spin–orbit coupling. United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1611967113.
Nam, Hyoungdo, Chen, Hua, Liu, Tijiang, Kim, Jisun, Zhang, Chendong, Yong, Jie, Lemberger, Thomas R., Kratz, Philip A., Kirtley, John R., Moler, Kathryn, Adams, Philip W., MacDonald, Allan H., and Shih, Chih-Kang. Tue . "Ultrathin two-dimensional superconductivity with strong spin–orbit coupling". United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1611967113.
@article{osti_1321028,
title = {Ultrathin two-dimensional superconductivity with strong spin–orbit coupling},
author = {Nam, Hyoungdo and Chen, Hua and Liu, Tijiang and Kim, Jisun and Zhang, Chendong and Yong, Jie and Lemberger, Thomas R. and Kratz, Philip A. and Kirtley, John R. and Moler, Kathryn and Adams, Philip W. and MacDonald, Allan H. and Shih, Chih-Kang},
abstractNote = {We report on a study of epitaxially grown ultrathin Pb films that are only a few atoms thick and have parallel critical magnetic fields much higher than the expected limit set by the interaction of electron spins with a magnetic field, that is, the Clogston–Chandrasekhar limit. The epitaxial thin films are classified as dirty-limit superconductors because their mean-free paths, which are limited by surface scattering, are smaller than their superconducting coherence lengths. The uniformity of superconductivity in these thin films is established by comparing scanning tunneling spectroscopy, scanning superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometry, double-coil mutual inductance, and magneto-transport, data that provide average superfluid rigidity on length scales covering the range from microscopic to macroscopic. We argue that the survival of superconductivity at Zeeman energies much larger than the superconducting gap can be understood only as the consequence of strong spin–orbit coupling that, together with substrate-induced inversion-symmetry breaking, produces spin splitting in the normal-state energy bands that is much larger than the superconductor’s energy gap.},
doi = {10.1073/pnas.1611967113},
journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
number = 38,
volume = 113,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {9}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1611967113

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 9 works
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