Turning on superconductivity in a topologically nontrivial insulator may provide a route to search for non-Abelian topological states. However, existing demonstrations of superconductor-insulator switches have involved only topologically trivial systems. Here we report reversible, in situ electrostatic on-off switching of superconductivity in the recently established quantum spin Hall insulator monolayer tungsten ditelluride (WTe2). Fabricated into a van der Waals field-effect transistor, the monolayer’s ground state can be continuously gate-tuned from the topological insulating to the superconducting state, with critical temperatures
- Publication Date:
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- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- p. 926-929
- American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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A two-dimensional (2D) topological insulator exhibits the quantum spin Hall (QSH) effect, in which topologically protected conducting channels exist at the sample edges. Experimental signatures of the QSH effect have recently been reported in an atomically thin material, monolayer WTe 2 . Here, we directly image the local conductivity of monolayer WTe 2 using microwave impedance microscopy, establishing beyond doubt that conduction is indeed strongly localized to the physical edges at temperatures up to 77 K and above. The edge conductivity shows no gap as a function of gate voltage, and is suppressed by magnetic field as expected. We observe additional conducting features which can be explained by edge states following boundaries between topologically trivial and nontrivial regions. These observations will be critical for interpreting and improving the properties of devices incorporating WTe 2 . Meanwhile, they reveal the robustness of the QSH channels and the potential to engineer them in the monolayer material platform.
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