New Publication in Phys. Rev. B

December 7, 2016 / Sebastian Loth

Closing the superconducting gap in small Pb nanoislands with high magnetic fields

New publication in Physical Review B

Closing the superconducting gap in small Pb nanoislands with high magnetic fields



Superconducting properties change in confined geometries. Here we study the effects of strong confinement in nanosized Pb islands on Si(111) 7×7. Small hexagonal islands with diameters less than 50 nm and a uniform height of seven atomic layers are formed by depositing Pb at low temperature and annealing at 300 K. We measure the tunneling spectra of individual Pb nanoislands using a low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope operated at 0.6 K and follow the narrowing of the superconducting gap as a function of magnetic field. We find the critical magnetic field, at which the superconducting gap vanishes, reaches several Tesla, which represents a greater than 50-fold enhancement compared to the bulk value. By independently measuring the size of the superconducting gap, and the critical magnetic field that quenches superconductivity for a range of nanoislands, we can correlate these two fundamental parameters and estimate the maximal achievable critical field for 7 ML Pb nanoislands to be 7 T.

Phys. Rev. B 94, 224504

Phys. Rev. B 94, 224504

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