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Superconductivity by alloying the topological insulator SnBi2Te4

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Physical Review Materials
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Alloying indium into the topological insulator SnBi2Te4 induces bulk superconductivity with critical temperatures Tc up to 1.85 K and upper critical fields up to about 14 kOe. This is confirmed by electrical resistivity, heat capacity, and magnetic susceptibility measurements. The heat capacity shows a discontinuity at Tc and temperature dependence below Tc consistent with weak coupling BCS theory, and suggests a superconducting gap near 0.25 meV. The superconductivity is type-II and the topological surface states have been verified by photoemission. A simple picture suggests analogies with the isostructural magnetic topological insulator MnBi2Te4, in which a natural heterostructure hosts complementary properties on different sublattices, and motivates new interest in this large family of compounds. The existence of both topological surface states and superconductivity in Sn1−xInxBi2Te4 identifies these materials as promising candidates for the study of topological superconductivity.