Interface-induced superconductivity in magnetic topological insulators

The interface between two different materials can show unexpected quantum phenomena. In this study, we used molecular beam epitaxy to synthesize heterostructures formed by stacking together two magnetic materials, a ferromagnetic topological insulator (TI) and an antiferromagnetic iron chalcogenide (FeTe). We observed emergent interface-induced superconductivity in these heterostructures and demonstrated the co-occurrence of superconductivity, ferromagnetism, and topological band structure in the magnetic TI layer—the three essential ingredients of chiral topological superconductivity (TSC).

The unusual coexistence of ferromagnetism and superconductivity is accompanied by a high upper critical magnetic field that exceeds the Pauli paramagnetic limit for conventional superconductors at low temperatures. These magnetic TI/FeTe heterostructures with robust superconductivity and atomically sharp interfaces provide an ideal wafer-scale platform for the exploration of chiral TSC and Majorana physics.

Facility: SμS

Reference: H. Yi et al, Science 383, 634 (2024)

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