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Free surfaces recast superconductivity in few-monolayer MgB2

We have investigated the role of the film thickness in determining the superconducting phase transition in thin layers of MgB2, epitaxially grown on Mg(0001), via angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) and first-principles calculations.
We show that surface states in few-monolayer MgB2 make a major contribution to the superconducting gap spectrum and density of states, clearly distinct from the widely known, bulk-like σ- and π-gaps. We predict and measure the gap opening on the magnesium-based surface band up to a critical temperature as high as ~30 K for merely six monolayers thick MgB2.

These findings establish free surfaces as an unavoidable ingredient in understanding and further tailoring of superconductivity in atomically thin materials.

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Free surfaces recast superconductivity in few-monolayer MgB2: Combined first-principles and ARPES demonstration
J. Bekaert, L. Bignardi, A. Aperis, P. van Abswoude, C. Mattevi, S. Gorovikov, L. Petaccia, A. Goldoni, B. Partoens, P.M. Oppeneer, F.M. Peeters, M.V. Milošević, P. Rudolf, C. Cepek,
Sci. Rep. 7, 14458 (2017).
doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-13913-z

Last Updated on Monday, 25 March 2019 16:23