Dirac-fermion-assisted interfacial superconductivity in epitaxial topological-insulator/iron-chalcogenide heterostructures

Hemian Yi, Lun Hui Hu, Yi Fan Zhao, Ling Jie Zhou, Zi Jie Yan, Ruoxi Zhang, Wei Yuan, Zihao Wang, Ke Wang, Danielle Reifsnyder Hickey, Anthony R. Richardella, John Singleton, Laurel E. Winter, Xianxin Wu, Moses H.W. Chan, Nitin Samarth, Chao Xing Liu, Cui Zu Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the last decade, the possibility of realizing topological superconductivity (TSC) has generated much excitement. TSC can be created in electronic systems where the topological and superconducting orders coexist, motivating the continued exploration of candidate material platforms to this end. Here, we use molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) to synthesize heterostructures that host emergent interfacial superconductivity when a non-superconducting antiferromagnet (FeTe) is interfaced with a topological insulator (TI) (Bi, Sb)2Te3. By performing in-vacuo angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) and ex-situ electrical transport measurements, we find that the superconducting transition temperature and the upper critical magnetic field are suppressed when the chemical potential approaches the Dirac point. We provide evidence to show that the observed interfacial superconductivity and its chemical potential dependence is the result of the competition between the Ruderman-Kittel-Kasuya-Yosida-type ferromagnetic coupling mediated by Dirac surface states and antiferromagnetic exchange couplings that generate the bicollinear antiferromagnetic order in the FeTe layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7119
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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