Proximity Effect Realized in Topological Kondo Insulator

Superconductivity in the topologically protected surface states of a three-dimensional topological insulator has been predicted to be a promising platform for exploring exotic quantum states such as Majorana fermion excitations. Although previous efforts have focused on the superconducting proximity effect in bilayer structures between a superconductor and a chalcogenide topological insulator, suppressing the conducting bulk contribution and securing high interfacial transparency between a superconductor and a topological insulator have been major experimental bottlenecks to demonstrating induced superconductivity. CNAM researchers led by Prof. Ichiro Takeuchi, in collaboration with Profs. Richard Greene and Johnpierre Paglione, have now demonstrated a supercurrent to flow through the surface layers of the topological Kondo insulator material samarium hexaboride (SmB6) via in situ deposition of a superconducting layer on SmB6 thin films. Published in Physical Review X, this study provides a unique insight into the surface state of SmB6, and marks an important stepping stone for pursuing novel quantum phenomena using thin-film topological insulator devices.

New CNAM Director Appointed

Prof. Johnpierre Paglione has been appointed as the new Director of the Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials.  Having contributed to several fields of condensed matter research through both single-crystal synthesis of superconducting, quantum-critical and topological materials, as well as exploration of novel phenomena, Prof. Paglione will continue to ensure the strength and vitality of the experimental condensed matter physics research performed in the Center. Paglione is a leader in the field of quantum criticality and has made important contributions to the fields of heavy-fermion materials and the quasiparticle picture of correlated materials. His team has more recently pursued several new areas of research including iron-based high-temperature superconductivity and topological insulators and superconductors. He is the recipient of a National Postdoctoral Fellowship Award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and an Early Career Award from the Department of Energy, and a recipient of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Materials Synthesis Award. Dr. Paglione earned his PhD from the University of Toronto in Canada.

Hebard to give 2016 Carr Lecture

This year's W. J. Carr Lecture Series on Superconductivity and Advanced Materials will be presented by Prof. Arthur Hebard from the University of Florida. Prof Hebard's research interests are focused on the fabrication and characterization of thin-film structures and are based on the recognition that unusual physical phenomena occur in restricted dimensions and at interfaces, for instance in magnetic and superconducting properties. His discoveries have been recognized by the American Physical Society’s award of the 2015 Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Physics Prize to Hebard and collaborators “for discovery and pioneering investigations of the superconductor-insulator transition, a paradigm for quantum phase transitions.”

A Technical Seminar will be given on Monday, April 25 at 4pm in Toll 1201 (more info here), followed by a special Department Colloquium at 4pm in 1410 Toll (more info here).