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Title: Electrical Conductivity through a Single Atomic Step Measured with the Proximity-Induced Superconducting Pair Correlation

Local disordered nanostructures in an atomically thick metallic layer on a semiconducting substrate play significant and decisive roles in transport properties of two-dimensional (2D) conductive systems. We measured the electrical conductivity through a step of monoatomic height in a truly microscopic manner by using as a signal the superconducting pair correlation induced by the proximity effect. The transport property across a step of a one-monolayer Pb surface metallic phase, formed on a Si(111) substrate, was evaluated by inducing the pair correlation around the local defect and measuring its response, i.e., the reduced density of states at the Fermi energy using scanning tunneling microscopy. We found that the step resistance has a significant contribution to the total resistance on a nominally flat surface. Our study also revealed that steps in the 2D metallic layer terminate the propagation of the pair correlation. Furthermore, superconductivity is enhanced between the first surface step and the superconductor–normal-metal interface by reflectionless tunneling when the step is located within a coherence length.
Authors:
 [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [4] ;  [4]
  1. The Univ. of Tokyo, Kashiwa (Japan); Univ. of Hamburg, Hamburg (Germany)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  3. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); U.S. Dept. of Energy, Washington, D.C. (United States)
  4. The Univ. of Tokyo, Kashiwa (Japan)
  5. Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Chiba (Japan)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-16-28137
Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007; PRLTAO
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 117; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; Material Science
OSTI Identifier:
1414132
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1322438