Magnetization Signature of Topological Surface States in a Non-symmorphic Superconductor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Wenjun Kuang
  • Guillermo Lopez-Polin
  • Hyungjun Lee
  • Francisco Guinea
  • George Whitehead
  • Ivan Timokhin
  • Alexey Berdyugin
  • Roshan Krishna Kumar
  • Oleg Yazyev
  • Andre Geim

Abstract

Superconductors with non-trivial band structure topology represent a class of materials with unconventional and potentially useful properties. Recent years have seen much success in creating artificial hybrid structures exhibiting main characteristics of two-dimensional (2D) topological superconductors. Yet, bulk materials known to combine inherent superconductivity with nontrivial topology remain scarce, largely because distinguishing their central characteristic – topological surface states – proved challenging due to a dominant contribution from the superconducting bulk. Reported here is a highly anomalous behaviour of surface superconductivity in topologically nontrivial 3D superconductor In2Bi where the surface states result from its nontrivial band structure, which itself is a consequence of the non-symmorphic crystal symmetry and strong spin-orbit coupling. In contrast to smoothly decreasing diamagnetic susceptibility above the bulk critical field Hc2, associated with surface superconductivity in conventional superconductors, we observe near-perfect, Meissner-like screening of low-frequency magnetic fields well above Hc2. The enhanced diamagnetism disappears at a new phase transition close to the critical field of surface superconductivity Hc3. Using theoretical modelling, we show that the anomalous screening is consistent with modification of surface superconductivity due to the presence of topological surface states. The demonstrated possibility to detect signatures of the surface states using macroscopic magnetization measurements provides an important new tool for discovery and identification of topological superconductors.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced Materials
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Jun 2021