Induced superconducting transition in ultra-thin iron-selenide films by a mg-coating process

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Binary Iron selenide (FeSe) thin films have been widely studied for years to unveil the high temperature superconductivity in iron-based superconductors. However, the origin of superconduct-ing transition in this unconventional system is still under debate and worth deep investigations. In the present work, the transition from insulator to superconductor was achieved in non-superconducting FeSe ultrathin films (~8 nm) grown on calcium fluoride substrates via a simple in-situ Mg-coating by a pulsed laser deposition technique. The Mg-coated FeSe film with an optimized amount of Mg exhibited a superconducting critical temperature as 9.7 K and an upper critical field as 30.9 T. Through systematic characterizations on phase identification, carrier transport behavior and high-resolution microstructural features, the revival of superconductivity in FeSe ultrathin films is mostly attributed to the highly crystallized FeSe and extra electron doping received from external Mg-coating process. Although the top few FeSe layers are incorporated with Mg, most FeSe layers are intact and protected by a stable magnesium oxide layer. This work provides a new strategy to induce superconductivity in FeSe films with non-superconducting behavior, which might contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of iron-based superconductivity and the benefit to downstream applications such as magnetic resonance imaging, high-field magnets and electrical cables.

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Australian Research Council



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