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Title: Surface Josephson plasma waves in a high-temperature superconductor

Abstract

Abstract Electron density oscillations with acoustic dispersions and sustained at boundaries between different media provide information about surface and interface properties of heterostructures. In ultrathin metallic films these plasmonic excitations are heavily damped. Superconductivity is predicted to reduce dissipation allowing detection of these resonances. Emerging low-loss interface Cooper-pair waves have been studied before, however, the observation of surface-confined Josephson plasmons in highly anisotropic superconductors has remained elusive. Here, we report on generation and coupling to these excitations in an ultrathin single-crystal film of high-temperature superconductor La 1.85 Sr 0.15 CuO 4 . The film becomes brighter than Au below the critical temperature when probed with sub-gap THz photons. We show that the enhanced signal in the superconducting state, which can be visualized with a spatial resolution better than λ/3000, originates from near-field coupling of light to surface Josephson plasmons. Our results open a path towards non-invasive investigation of enhanced superconductivity in artificial multilayers, buried interface states in topological heterostructures, and non-linear phenomena in Josephson devices.

Authors:
; ; ; ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES). Materials Sciences & Engineering Division; Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
OSTI Identifier:
1669167
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1677680
Report Number(s):
BNL-219974-2020-JAAM
Journal ID: ISSN 2397-4648; 69; PII: 272
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0012704; GBMF4410; 2005410
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
npj Quantum Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: npj Quantum Materials Journal Volume: 5 Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2397-4648
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY

Citation Formats

Lu, Qianbo, Bollinger, Anthony T., He, Xi, Sundling, Robert, Bozovic, Ivan, and Gozar, Adrian. Surface Josephson plasma waves in a high-temperature superconductor. United Kingdom: N. p., 2020. Web. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41535-020-00272-8.
Lu, Qianbo, Bollinger, Anthony T., He, Xi, Sundling, Robert, Bozovic, Ivan, & Gozar, Adrian. Surface Josephson plasma waves in a high-temperature superconductor. United Kingdom. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41535-020-00272-8
Lu, Qianbo, Bollinger, Anthony T., He, Xi, Sundling, Robert, Bozovic, Ivan, and Gozar, Adrian. Thu . "Surface Josephson plasma waves in a high-temperature superconductor". United Kingdom. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41535-020-00272-8.
@article{osti_1669167,
title = {Surface Josephson plasma waves in a high-temperature superconductor},
author = {Lu, Qianbo and Bollinger, Anthony T. and He, Xi and Sundling, Robert and Bozovic, Ivan and Gozar, Adrian},
abstractNote = {Abstract Electron density oscillations with acoustic dispersions and sustained at boundaries between different media provide information about surface and interface properties of heterostructures. In ultrathin metallic films these plasmonic excitations are heavily damped. Superconductivity is predicted to reduce dissipation allowing detection of these resonances. Emerging low-loss interface Cooper-pair waves have been studied before, however, the observation of surface-confined Josephson plasmons in highly anisotropic superconductors has remained elusive. Here, we report on generation and coupling to these excitations in an ultrathin single-crystal film of high-temperature superconductor La 1.85 Sr 0.15 CuO 4 . The film becomes brighter than Au below the critical temperature when probed with sub-gap THz photons. We show that the enhanced signal in the superconducting state, which can be visualized with a spatial resolution better than λ/3000, originates from near-field coupling of light to surface Josephson plasmons. Our results open a path towards non-invasive investigation of enhanced superconductivity in artificial multilayers, buried interface states in topological heterostructures, and non-linear phenomena in Josephson devices.},
doi = {10.1038/s41535-020-00272-8},
journal = {npj Quantum Materials},
number = 1,
volume = 5,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {2020},
month = {10}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41535-020-00272-8

Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1 Fig. 1: The experimental system and the measured device. a A close-up of the cryogenic AFM-SNOM sample space showing the tuning fork mount, the sample holder and the path of the light beam reflecting off the parabolic mirror. The two arrows indicate light propagation directions in our back-scattering geometry. bmore » Schematic showing the collimated beam being focused by the parabolic mirror onto the apex of the AFM tip. The AFM tip is an etched metallic wire glued to a prong of the quartz tuning fork sensor (see Methods). c The schematic of the measured device shows the light beam, the AFM tip, the Au pads, the 20 μm wide strip of 13 nm thick LSCO film and the LaSrAlO4 substrate. During the measurements the tip was positioned next to lateral LSCO-Au contacts such as the one marked with a red rectangle. Similar data were obtained from all measured contact regions, attesting to the robustness of the results. The inset of this panel shows an actual CCD image of the investigated sample area. Visible on the left side of the inset is the etched AFM tip and its reflection in the substrate. The outline of the tip is emphasized by while dashed lines.« less

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