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Superconductivity in Ga-doped Germanium above 1 K

Heera, V.; Herrmannsdörfer, T.; Skrotzki, R.; Ignatchik, O.; Uhlarz, M.; Fiedler, J.; Mücklich, A.; Voelskow, M.; Posselt, M.; Wündisch, C.; Heinig, K.-H.; Skorupa, W.; Wosnitza, J.; Helm, M.

The discovery of superconductivity in heavily boron-doped diamond [1] has demonstrated that group-IV semiconductors can become superconducting upon carrier doping even at ambient conditions. Meanwhile superconductivity has been found in further heavily doped group-IV semiconductors such as Si and SiC [2]. Compared to these semiconductors, Ge seems to be less promising for realizing superconductivity as was based upon estimates of the electron-phonon coupling strength [3]. The challenge is to achieve extremely high hole concentrations which are commonly limited by the equilibrium solid solubility of the acceptor. Nevertheless, we succeeded in making Ge superconducting as recently reported [4]. A nonequilibrium doping process consisting of 100 keV Ga+-ion implantation with a fluence of 21016cm-2 and subsequent 3 ms flash-lamp annealing (FLA) enabled hole concentrations as high as 1.41021 cm-2. The superconducting state was observed in a thin (~60 nm) Ge layer with a maximum Ga content of about 8 at.% at critical temperatures below 0.5 K. From the measured critical parameters it follows that Ga-doped Ge is a type-II superconductor with a large Ginzburg-Landau parameter (>103).
The structure as well as the superconducting properties of the Ga-doped Ge layers depend sensitively on the preparation conditions as shown in Fig. 1. In search for higher transition temperatures, implantation and annealing conditions were varied in a more comprehensive study. Critical temperatures above 1 K were obtained for samples either implanted with 41016 cm-2 and flash-lamp annealed at 52 Jcm-2 or implanted with 21016 cm-2 and subjected to rapid thermal annealing (RTA) at 910°C for 60 s (Fig. 2). Critical magnetic fields perpendicular and parallel to the Ge:Ga plane up to about 0.3 and 1 T, respectively, were observed. Thus superconductivity in thin Ge:Ge layers is a robust effect and could be utilized in superconducting quantum devices.

[1] E. A. Ekimov, V. A. Sidorov, E. D. Bauer, et al., Nature 428, 542 (2004)
[2] K. Iakoubovskii, Physica C 469, 675 (2009)
[3] L. Boeri, J. Kortus, O. K. Anderson, J. Phys. Chem. Solids 67, 552 (2006)
[4] T. Herrmannsdörfer, V. Heera, O. Ignatchik, et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 217003 (2009)

Keywords: superconductivity; germanium

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Publ.-Id: 14316