Superconductivity emerging from a suppressed large magnetoresistant state in tungsten ditelluride

Nat Commun. 2015 Jul 23;6:7804. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8804.

Abstract

The recent discovery of large magnetoresistance in tungsten ditelluride provides a unique playground to find new phenomena and significant perspective for potential applications. The large magnetoresistance effect originates from a perfect balance of hole and electron carriers, which is sensitive to external pressure. Here we report the suppression of the large magnetoresistance and emergence of superconductivity in pressurized tungsten ditelluride via high-pressure synchrotron X-ray diffraction, electrical resistance, magnetoresistance and alternating current magnetic susceptibility measurements. Upon increasing pressure, the positive large magnetoresistance effect is gradually suppressed and turned off at a critical pressure of 10.5 GPa, where superconductivity accordingly emerges. No structural phase transition is observed under the pressure investigated. In situ high-pressure Hall coefficient measurements at low temperatures demonstrate that elevating pressure decreases the population of hole carriers but increases that of the electron ones. Significantly, at the critical pressure, a sign change of the Hall coefficient is observed.