Semiconductor Electrically Connected to Superconductor

Ultrathin Semiconductors Outfitted With Superconducting Contacts for the First Time


Semiconductor Electrically Connected to Superconductor

The monolayer of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) is sandwiched between two protecting layers of boron nitride (hBN), with molybdenum rhenium (MoRe) contacts extending by the higher one. A layer of graphene (gate) is used for electrical management. Credit score: Mehdi Ramezani, Swiss Nanoscience Institute, College of Basel

For the primary time, College of Basel researchers have outfitted an ultrathin semiconductor with superconducting contacts. These extraordinarily skinny supplies with novel digital and optical properties may pave the best way for beforehand unimagined purposes. Mixed with superconductors, they’re anticipated to provide rise to new quantum phenomena and discover use in quantum know-how.

Whether or not in smartphones, televisions or constructing know-how, semiconductors play a central position in electronics and due to this fact in our on a regular basis lives. In distinction to metals, it’s attainable to regulate their electrical conductivity by making use of a voltage and therefore to modify the present circulation on and off.

With a view to future purposes in electronics and quantum know-how, researchers are specializing in the event of recent elements that include a single layer (monolayer) of a semiconducting materials. Some naturally occurring supplies with semiconducting properties function monolayers of this type, stacked to type a three-dimensional crystal. Within the laboratory, researchers can separate these layers – which are not any thicker than a single molecule – and use them to construct digital elements.

New properties and phenomena

These ultrathin semiconductors promise to ship distinctive traits which can be in any other case very tough to regulate, equivalent to the usage of electrical fields to affect the magnetic moments of the electrons. As well as, advanced quantum mechanical phenomena happen in these semiconducting monolayers which will have purposes in quantum know-how.

For the primary time, SNI researchers (College of Basel) have outfitted an atomically skinny semiconductor with superconducting contacts. On this video, they present the frilly fabrication course of. Credit score: C. Möller and M. Ramezani, Swiss Nanoscience Institute, College of Basel

Scientists worldwide are investigating how these skinny semiconductors will be stacked to type new artificial supplies, generally known as van der Waals heterostructures. Nonetheless, till now, they haven’t succeeded in combining such a monolayer with superconducting contacts so as to dig deeper into the properties and peculiarities of the brand new supplies.

Superconducting contacts

A crew of physicists, led by Dr. Andreas Baumgartner within the analysis group of Professor Christian Schönenberger on the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Division of Physics of the College of Basel, has now fitted a monolayer of the semiconductor molybdenum disulfide with superconducting contacts for the primary time. (see field)

The explanation why this mix of semiconductor and superconductor is so fascinating is that the specialists anticipate elements of this type to exhibit new properties and bodily phenomena. “In a superconductor, the electrons organize themselves into pairs, like companions in a dance – with extraordinary penalties, such because the circulation of {the electrical} present with no resistance,” explains Baumgartner, the venture supervisor of the examine. “Within the semiconductor molybdenum disulfide, then again, the electrons carry out a very totally different dance, an odd solo routine that additionally incorporates their magnetic moments. Now we wish to discover out which new and unique dances the electrons agree upon if we mix these supplies.”

Appropriate to be used as a platform

{The electrical} measurements on the low temperatures required for superconductivity – simply above absolute zero (-273.15°C) – present clearly the results brought on by the superconductor; for instance, at sure energies, single electrons are now not allowed. Furthermore, the researchers discovered indications of a robust coupling between the semiconductor layer and the superconductor.

“Sturdy coupling is a key ingredient within the new and thrilling bodily phenomena that we anticipate to see in such van der Waals heterostructures, however had been by no means in a position to exhibit,” says Mehdi Ramezani, lead creator of the examine.

“And, in fact, we all the time hope for brand spanking new purposes in electronics and quantum know-how,” says Baumgartner. “In precept, the vertical contacts we’ve developed for the semiconductor layers will be utilized to a lot of semiconductors. Our measurements present that these hybrid monolayer semiconductor elements are certainly attainable –maybe even with different, extra unique contact supplies that may pave the best way for additional insights,” he provides.

Reference: “Superconducting Contacts to a Monolayer Semiconductor” by Mehdi Ramezani, Ian Correa Sampaio, Kenji Watanabe, Takashi Taniguchi, Christian Schönenberger and Andreas Baumgartner, 23 June 2021, Nano Letters.
DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c00615

Funding: Swiss NationalScience Basis, Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI) venture P1701, and theERC venture Prime-Supra (787414)





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