Discovery of superconductivity in KTaO₃ by electrostatic carrier doping

Nat Nanotechnol. 2011 May 22;6(7):408-12. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2011.78.


Superconductivity at interfaces has been investigated since the first demonstration of electric-field-tunable superconductivity in ultrathin films in 1960(1). So far, research on interface superconductivity has focused on materials that are known to be superconductors in bulk. Here, we show that electrostatic carrier doping can induce superconductivity in KTaO(3), a material in which superconductivity has not been observed before. Taking advantage of the large capacitance of the self-organized electric double layer that forms at the interface between an ionic liquid and KTaO(3) (ref. 12), we achieve a charge carrier density that is an order of magnitude larger than the density that can be achieved with conventional chemical doping. Superconductivity emerges in KTaO(3) at 50 mK for two-dimensional carrier densities in the range 2.3 × 10(14) to 3.7 × 10(14) cm(-2). The present result clearly shows that electrostatic carrier doping can lead to new states of matter at nanoscale interfaces.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't