skip to main content

Title: An all-epitaxial nitride heterostructure with concurrent quantum Hall effect and superconductivity
Creating seamless heterostructures that exhibit the quantum Hall effect and superconductivity is highly desirable for future electronics based on topological quantum computing. However, the two topologically robust electronic phases are typically incompatible owing to conflicting magnetic field requirements. Combined advances in the epitaxial growth of a nitride superconductor with a high critical temperature and a subsequent nitride semiconductor heterostructure of metal polarity enable the observation of clean integer quantum Hall effect in the polarization-induced two-dimensional (2D) electron gas of the high-electron mobility transistor. Through individual magnetotransport measurements of the spatially separated GaN 2D electron gas and superconducting NbN layers, we find a small window of magnetic fields and temperatures in which the epitaxial layers retain their respective quantum Hall and superconducting properties. Its analysis indicates that in epitaxial nitride superconductor/semiconductor heterostructures, this window can be significantly expanded, creating an industrially viable platform for robust quantum devices that exploit topologically protected transport.
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Science Advances
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Stacking layers of atomically thin transition-metal carbides and two-dimensional (2D) semiconducting transition-metal dichalcogenides, could lead to nontrivial superconductivity and other unprecedented phenomena yet to be studied. In this work, superconducting α-phase thin molybdenum carbide flakes were first synthesized, and a subsequent sulfurization treatment induced the formation of vertical heterolayer systems consisting of different phases of molybdenum carbide—ranging from α to γ′ and γ phases—in conjunction with molybdenum sulfide layers. These transition-metal carbide/disulfide heterostructures exhibited critical superconducting temperatures as high as 6 K, higher than that of the starting single-phased α-Mo 2 C (4 K). We analyzed possible interface configurations to explain the observed moiré patterns resulting from the vertical heterostacks. Our density-functional theory (DFT) calculations indicate that epitaxial strain and moiré patterns lead to a higher interfacial density of states, which favors superconductivity. Such engineered heterostructures might allow the coupling of superconductivity to the topologically nontrivial surface states featured by transition-metal carbide phases composing these heterostructures potentially leading to unconventional superconductivity. Moreover, we envisage that our approach could also be generalized to other metal carbide and nitride systems that could exhibit high-temperature superconductivity.
  2. Abstract The proposal of fault-tolerant quantum computations, which promise to dramatically improve the operation of quantum computers and to accelerate the development of the compact hardware for them, is based on topological quantum field theories, which rely on the existence in Nature of physical systems described by a Lagrangian containing a non-Abelian (NA) topological term. These are solid-state systems having two-dimensional electrons, which are coupled to magnetic-flux-quanta vortexes, forming complex particles, known as anyons. Topological quantum computing (TQC) operations thus represent a physical realization of the mathematical operations involving NA representations of a braid group B n , generated by a set of n localized anyons, which can be braided and fused using a “tweezer” and controlled by a detector. For most of the potential TQC material systems known so far, which are 2D-electron–gas semiconductor structure at high magnetic field and a variety of hybrid superconductor/topological-material heterostructures, the realization of anyon localization versus tweezing and detecting meets serious obstacles, chief among which are the necessity of using current control, i.e., mobile particles, of the TQC operations and high density electron puddles (containing thousands of electrons) to generate a single vortex. Here we demonstrate a novel system, in which these obstaclesmore »can be overcome, and in which vortexes are generated by a single electron. This is a ~ 150 nm size many electron InP/GaInP 2 self-organized quantum dot, in which molecules, consisting of a few localized anyons, are naturally formed and exist at zero external magnetic field. We used high-spatial-resolution scanning magneto-photoluminescence spectroscopy measurements of a set of the dots having five and six electrons, together with many-body quantum mechanical calculations to demonstrate spontaneous formation of the anyon magneto-electron particles ( e ν ) having fractional charge ν  =  n / k, where n  = 1–4 and k  = 3–15 are the number of electrons and vortexes, respectively, arranged in molecular structures having a built-in (internal) magnetic field of 6–12 T. Using direct imaging of the molecular configurations we observed fusion and braiding of e ν - anyons under photo-excitation and revealed the possibility of using charge sensing for their control. Our investigations show that InP/GaInP 2 anyon-molecule QDs, which have intrinsic transformations of localized e ν - anyons compatible with TQC operations and capable of being probed by charge sensing, are very promising for the realization of TQC.« less
  3. Improving materials used to make qubits is crucial to further progress in quantum information processing. Of particular interest are semiconductor-superconductor heterostructures that are expected to form the basis of topological quantum computing. We grew semiconductor indium antimonide nanowires that were coated with shells of tin of uniform thickness. No interdiffusion was observed at the interface between Sn and InSb. Tunnel junctions were prepared by in situ shadowing. Despite the lack of lattice matching between Sn and InSb, a 15-nanometer-thick shell of tin was found to induce a hard superconducting gap, with superconductivity persisting in magnetic field up to 4 teslas. A small island of Sn-InSb exhibits the two-electron charging effect. These findings suggest a less restrictive approach to fabricating superconducting and topological quantum circuits.

  4. Abstract

    The phenomenon of non-reciprocal critical current in a Josephson device, termed the Josephson diode effect, has garnered much recent interest. Realization of the diode effect requires inversion symmetry breaking, typically obtained by spin-orbit interactions. Here we report observation of the Josephson diode effect in a three-terminal Josephson device based upon an InAs quantum well two-dimensional electron gas proximitized by an epitaxial aluminum superconducting layer. We demonstrate that the diode efficiency in our devices can be tuned by a small out-of-plane magnetic field or by electrostatic gating. We show that the Josephson diode effect in these devices is a consequence of the artificial realization of a current-phase relation that contains higher harmonics. We also show nonlinear DC intermodulation and simultaneous two-signal rectification, enabled by the multi-terminal nature of the devices. Furthermore, we show that the diode effect is an inherent property of multi-terminal Josephson devices, establishing an immediately scalable approach by which potential applications of the Josephson diode effect can be realized, agnostic to the underlying material platform. These Josephson devices may also serve as gate-tunable building blocks in designing topologically protected qubits.

  5. AlScN is attractive as a lattice-matched epitaxial barrier layer for incorporation in GaN high electron mobility transistors due to its large dielectric constant and polarization. The transport properties of polarization-induced two-dimensional (2D) electron gas of densities of [Formula: see text]/cm 2 formed at the AlScN–GaN interface is studied by Hall-effect measurements down to cryogenic temperatures. The 2D electron gas densities exhibit mobilities limited to ∼300 cm 2 /V s down to 10 K at AlScN/GaN heterojunctions. The insertion of a ∼2 nm AlN interlayer boosts the room temperature mobility by more than five times from ∼300 cm 2 /V s to [Formula: see text] cm 2 /V s, and the 10 K mobility by more than 20 times to ∼6980 cm 2 /V s at 10 K. These measurements provide guidelines to the limits of electron conductivities of these highly polar heterostructures.