"Pressure-induced superconductivity in topological parent compound BiTe3"

J. L. Zhang: S. J. Zhang, H. M. Weng, W. Zhang, L. X. Yang, Q. Q. Liu, S. M. Feng, X. C. Wang, R. C. Yu, L. Z. Cao, L. Wang, W. G. Yang, H. Z. Liu, W. Y. Zhao, S. C. Zhang, X. Dai, Z. Fang, and C. Q. Jin; PNAS, 01/04/11.

Additional Authors: S. J. Zhang, H. M. Weng, W. Zhang, L. X. Yang, Q. Q. Liu, S. M. Feng, X. C. Wang, R. C. Yu, L. Z. Cao, L. Wang, W. G. Yang, H. Z. Liu, W. Y. Zhao, S. C. Zhang, X. Dai, Z. Fang, and C. Q. Jin

Abstract:

We report a successful observation of pressure-induced superconductivity in a topological compound Bi2Te3 with Tc of ∼3 K between 3 to 6 GPa. The combined high-pressure structure investigations with synchrotron radiation indicated that the superconductivity occurred at the ambient phase without crystal structure phase transition. The Hall effects measurements indicated the hole-type carrier in the pressure-induced superconducting Bi2Te3 single crystal. Consequently, the first-principles calculations based on the structural data obtained by the Rietveld refinement of X-ray diffraction patterns at high pressure showed that the electronic structure under pressure remained topologically nontrivial. The results suggested that topological superconductivity can be realized in Bi2Te3 due to the proximity effect between superconducting bulk states and Dirac-type surface states. We also discuss the possibility that the bulk state could be a topological superconductor.