Spectroscopic evidence of a new energy scale for superconductivity in H3S.
ABSTRACT: The discovery of a superconducting phase in sulfur hydride under high pressure with a critical temperature above 200 K has provided fresh impetus to the search for superconductors at ever higher temperatures. Although this systems displays all the hallmarks of superconductivity, the mechanism through which it arises remains to be determined. Here we provide a first optical spectroscopy study of this superconductor. Experimental results for the optical reflectivity of H3S, under hydrostatic pressure of 150 GPa, for several temperatures and over the range 60 to 600 meV of photon energies, are compared with theoretical calculations based on Eliashberg theory. Two significant features stand out: some remarkably strong infrared active phonons at around 160 meV, and a band with a depressed reflectance in the superconducting state in the region from 450 meV to 600 meV. In this energy range H3S becomes more reflecting with increasing temperature, a change that is traced to superconductivity originating from the electron-phonon interaction. The shape, magnitude, and energy dependence of this band at 150 K agrees with our calculations. This provides strong evidence of a conventional mechanism. However, the unusually strong optical phonon suggests a contribution of electronic degrees of freedom.
Project description:The nature of superconductivity in the dilute semiconductor SrTiO3 has remained an open question for more than 50 y. The extremely low carrier densities ([Formula: see text]-[Formula: see text] cm-3) at which superconductivity occurs suggest an unconventional origin of superconductivity outside of the adiabatic limit on which the Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer (BCS) and Migdal-Eliashberg (ME) theories are based. We take advantage of a newly developed method for engineering band alignments at oxide interfaces and access the electronic structure of Nb-doped SrTiO3, using high-resolution tunneling spectroscopy. We observe strong coupling to the highest-energy longitudinal optic (LO) phonon branch and estimate the doping evolution of the dimensionless electron-phonon interaction strength ([Formula: see text]). Upon cooling below the superconducting transition temperature ([Formula: see text]), we observe a single superconducting gap corresponding to the weak-coupling limit of BCS theory, indicating an order of magnitude smaller coupling ([Formula: see text]). These results suggest that despite the strong normal state interaction with electrons, the highest LO phonon does not provide a dominant contribution to pairing. They further demonstrate that SrTiO3 is an ideal system to probe superconductivity over a wide range of carrier density, adiabatic parameter, and electron-phonon coupling strength.
Project description:A high-frequency optical phonon mode of SrTiO3 (STO) was found to assist the high-temperature superconductivity observed recently at the interface between monolayer FeSe and STO substrate. However, the origin of this mode is not clear. Through first-principles calculations, we find that there is a novel polar phonon mode on the surface layers of the STO substrate, which does not exist in the STO crystals. The oxygen vacancies near the FeSe/STO interface drives the dispersion of this phonon mode to be flat and lowers its energy, whereas the charge transfer between STO substrate and FeSe monolayer further reduces its energy to 81 meV. This energy is in good agreement with the experimental value fitted by Lee et al. for the phonon mode responsible for the observed replica band separations and the increased superconducting gap. The oxygen-vacancy-induced flat and polar phonon mode provides clues for understanding the origin of high Tc superconductivity at the FeSe/STO interface.
Project description:Using the ab initio anisotropic Eliashberg theory including Coulomb interactions, we investigate the electron-phonon interaction and the pairing mechanism in the recently-reported superconducting Ca-intercalated bilayer graphene. We find that C6CaC6 can support phonon-mediated superconductivity with a critical temperature Tc?=?6.8-8.1?K, in good agreement with experimental data. Our calculations indicate that the low-energy Caxy vibrations are critical to the pairing, and that it should be possible to resolve two distinct superconducting gaps on the electron and hole Fermi surface pockets.
Project description:Monolayer graphene exhibits many spectacular electronic properties, with superconductivity being arguably the most notable exception. It was theoretically proposed that superconductivity might be induced by enhancing the electron-phonon coupling through the decoration of graphene with an alkali adatom superlattice [Profeta G, Calandra M, Mauri F (2012) Nat Phys 8(2):131-134]. Although experiments have shown an adatom-induced enhancement of the electron-phonon coupling, superconductivity has never been observed. Using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES), we show that lithium deposited on graphene at low temperature strongly modifies the phonon density of states, leading to an enhancement of the electron-phonon coupling of up to ? ? 0.58. On part of the graphene-derived ?*-band Fermi surface, we then observe the opening of a ? ? 0.9-meV temperature-dependent pairing gap. This result suggests for the first time, to our knowledge, that Li-decorated monolayer graphene is indeed superconducting, with Tc ? 5.9 K.
Project description:Conventional superconductivity follows Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer(BCS) theory of electrons-pairing in momentum-space, while superfluidity is the Bose-Einstein condensation(BEC) of atoms paired in real-space. These properties of solid metals and ultra-cold gases, respectively, are connected by the BCS-BEC crossover. Here we investigate the band dispersions in FeTe(0.6)Se(0.4)(Tc = 14.5 K ~ 1.2 meV) in an accessible range below and above the Fermi level(EF) using ultra-high resolution laser angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy. We uncover an electron band lying just 0.7 meV (~8 K) above EF at the ?-point, which shows a sharp superconducting coherence peak with gap formation below Tc. The estimated superconducting gap ? and Fermi energy [Symbol: see text]F indicate composite superconductivity in an iron-based superconductor, consisting of strong-coupling BEC in the electron band and weak-coupling BCS-like superconductivity in the hole band. The study identifies the possible route to BCS-BEC superconductivity.
Project description:So far, laser control of solids has been mainly discussed in the context of strong classical nonlinear light-matter coupling in a pump-probe framework. Here, we propose a quantum-electrodynamical setting to address the coupling of a low-dimensional quantum material to quantized electromagnetic fields in quantum cavities. Using a protoypical model system describing FeSe/SrTiO3 with electron-phonon long-range forward scattering, we study how the formation of phonon polaritons at the two-dimensional interface of the material modifies effective couplings and superconducting properties in a Migdal-Eliashberg simulation. We find that through highly polarizable dipolar phonons, large cavity-enhanced electron-phonon couplings are possible, but superconductivity is not enhanced for the forward-scattering pairing mechanism due to the interplay between coupling enhancement and mode softening. Our results demonstrate that quantum cavities enable the engineering of fundamental couplings in solids, paving the way for unprecedented control of material properties.
Project description:Iron-based superconductors have been found to exhibit an intimate interplay of orbital, spin, and lattice degrees of freedom, dramatically affecting their low-energy electronic properties, including superconductivity. Albeit the precise pairing mechanism remains unidentified, several candidate interactions have been suggested to mediate the superconducting pairing, both in the orbital and in the spin channel. Here, we employ optical spectroscopy (OS), angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES), ab initio band-structure, and Eliashberg calculations to show that nearly optimally doped NaFe0.978Co0.022As exhibits some of the strongest orbitally selective electronic correlations in the family of iron pnictides. Unexpectedly, we find that the mass enhancement of itinerant charge carriers in the strongly correlated band is dramatically reduced near the ? point and attribute this effect to orbital mixing induced by pronounced spin-orbit coupling. Embracing the true band structure allows us to describe all low-energy electronic properties obtained in our experiments with remarkable consistency and demonstrate that superconductivity in this material is rather weak and mediated by spin fluctuations.
Project description:The superconductor at the LaAlO3-SrTiO3 interface provides a model system for the study of two-dimensional superconductivity in the dilute carrier density limit. Here we experimentally address the pairing mechanism in this superconductor. We extract the electron-phonon spectral function from tunneling spectra and conclude, without ruling out contributions of further pairing channels, that electron-phonon mediated pairing is strong enough to account for the superconducting critical temperatures. Furthermore, we discuss the electron-phonon coupling in relation to the superconducting phase diagram. The electron-phonon spectral function is independent of the carrier density, except for a small part of the phase diagram in the underdoped region. The tunneling measurements reveal that the increase of the chemical potential with increasing carrier density levels off and is zero in the overdoped region of the phase diagram. This indicates that the additionally induced carriers do not populate the band that hosts the superconducting state and that the superconducting order parameter therefore is weakened by the presence of charge carriers in another band.
Project description:Recently, Bi-based compounds have attracted attentions because of the strong spin-orbit coupling (SOC). In this work, we figured out the role of SOC in ABi3 (A?=?Sr and Ba) by theoretical investigation of the band structures, phonon properties, and electron-phonon coupling. Without SOC, strong Fermi surface nesting leads to phonon instabilities in ABi3. SOC suppresses the nesting and stabilizes the structure. Moreover, without SOC the calculation largely underestimates the superconducting transition temperatures (Tc), while with SOC the calculated Tc are very close to those determined by measurements on single crystal samples. The SOC enhanced superconductivity in ABi3 is due to not only the SOC induced phonon softening, but also the SOC related increase of electron-phonon coupling matrix elements. ABi3 can be potential platforms to construct heterostructure of superconductor/topological insulator to realize topological superconductivity.
Project description:Superconductivity of n-doped SrTiO3, which remained enigmatic for half a century, is treated as a particular case of nonadiabatic phonon pairing. Motivated by experiment, we suggest the existence of the mobility edge at some dopant concentration. The itinerant part of the spectrum consists of three conduction bands filling by electrons successively. Each subband contributes to the superconducting instability and exhibits a gap in its energy spectrum at low temperatures. We argue that superconductivity of n-doped SrTiO3 results from the interaction of electrons with several longitudinal (LO) optical phonons with frequencies much larger than the Fermi energy. Immobile charges under the mobility edge threshold increase the "optical" dielectric constant far above that in clean SrTiO3 placing control on the electron-LO phonon interaction. TC initially grows as density of states at the Fermi surface increases with doping, but the accumulating charges reduce the electrons-polar-phonon interaction by screening the longitudinal electric fields. The theory predicts maxima in the TC-concentration dependence indeed observed experimentally. Having reached a maximum in the third band, the transition temperature finally decreases, rounding out the TC (n) dome, the three maxima with accompanying superconducting gaps emerging consecutively as electrons fill successive bands. This arises from attributes of the LO optical phonon pairing of electrons. The mechanism of LO phonons opens the path to increasing superconducting transition temperature in bulk transition-metal oxides and other polar crystals, and in charged 2D layers at the LaAaO3/SrTiO3 interfaces and on the SrTiO3 substrates.