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Induced Superconductivity And Engineered Josephson Tunneling Devices In Epitaxial (111)-Oriented Gold/Vanadium Heterostructures.

P. Wei, F. Katmis, C. Chang, J. Moodera
Published 2016 · Materials Science, Physics, Medicine

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We report a unique experimental approach to create topological superconductors by inducing superconductivity into epitaxial metallic thin film with strong spin-orbit coupling. Utilizing molecular beam epitaxy technique under ultrahigh vacuum conditions, we are able to achieve (111) oriented single phase of gold (Au) thin film grown on a well-oriented vanadium (V) s-wave superconductor film with clean interface. We obtained atomically smooth Au thin films with thicknesses even down to below a nanometer showing near-ideal surface quality. The as-grown V/Au bilayer heterostructure exhibits superconducting transition at around 3.9 K. Clear Josephson tunneling and Andreev reflection are observed in S-I-S tunnel junctions fabricated from the epitaxial bilayers. The barrier thickness dependent tunneling and the associated subharmonic gap structures (SGS) confirmed the induced superconductivity in Au (111), paving the way for engineering thin film heterostructures based on p-wave superconductivity and nano devices exploiting Majorana Fermions for quantum computing.
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