The coexistence of superconductivity and topological order in the Bi 2Se3 thin films

Mei Xiao Wang, Canhua Liu, Jin Peng Xu, Fang Yang, Lin Miao, Meng Yu Yao, C. L. Gao, Chenyi Shen, Xucun Ma, X. Chen, Zhu An Xu, Ying Liu, Shou Cheng Zhang, Dong Qian, Jin Feng Jia, Qi Kun Xue

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Abstract

Three-dimensional topological insulators (TIs) are characterized by their nontrivial surface states, in which electrons have their spin locked at a right angle to their momentum under the protection of time-reversal symmetry. The topologically ordered phase in TIs does not break any symmetry. The interplay between topological order and symmetry breaking, such as that observed in superconductivity, can lead to new quantum phenomena and devices. We fabricated a superconducting TI/superconductor heterostructure by growing dibismuth triselenide (Bi2Se3) thin films on superconductor niobium diselenide substrate. Using scanning tunneling microscopy and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, we observed the superconducting gap at the Bi 2Se3 surface in the regime of Bi2Se3 film thickness where topological surface states form. This observation lays the groundwork for experimentally realizing Majorana fermions in condensed matter physics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-55
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume335
Issue number6077
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 6 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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    Wang, M. X., Liu, C., Xu, J. P., Yang, F., Miao, L., Yao, M. Y., Gao, C. L., Shen, C., Ma, X., Chen, X., Xu, Z. A., Liu, Y., Zhang, S. C., Qian, D., Jia, J. F., & Xue, Q. K. (2012). The coexistence of superconductivity and topological order in the Bi 2Se3 thin films. Science, 335(6077), 52-55. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1216466