Superconductivity in Layered van der Waals Hydrogenated Germanene at High Pressure

Publication Name

Journal of the American Chemical Society


The emergence of superconductivity in two-dimensional (2D) materials has attracted tremendous research efforts because the origins and mechanisms behind the unexpected and fascinating superconducting phenomena remain unclear. In particular, the superconductivity can survive in 2D systems even with weakened disorder and broken spatial inversion symmetry. Here, structural and superconducting transitions of 2D van der Waals (vdW) hydrogenated germanene (GeH) are observed under compression and decompression processes. GeH possesses a superconducting transition with a critical temperature (Tc) of 5.41 K at 8.39 GPa. A crystalline to amorphous transition occurs at 16.80 GPa, while superconductivity remains. An abnormal increase of Tcup to 6.11 K was observed during the decompression process, while the GeH remained in the 2D amorphous phase. A combination study of in situ high-pressure synchrotron X-ray diffraction, in situ high-pressure Raman spectroscopy, transition electron microscopy, and density functional theory simulations suggests that the superconductivity in 2D vdW GeH is attributed to the increased density of states at the Fermi level as well as the enhanced electron-phonon coupling effect under high pressure even in the form of an amorphous phase. The unique pressure-induced phase transition of GeH from 2D crystalline to 2D amorphous metal hydride provides a promising platform to study the mechanisms of amorphous hydride superconductivity.

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Australian Research Council



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