p-type transparent superconductivity in a layered oxide

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Science Advances  15 Jul 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 29, eabb8570
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb8570


Development of p-type transparent conducting materials has been a challenging issue. The known p-type transparent conductors unsatisfy both of high transparency and high conductivity nor exhibit superconductivity. Here, we report on epitaxial synthesis, excellent p-type transparent conductivity, and two-dimensional superconductivity of Li1−xNbO2. The LiNbO2 epitaxial films with NbO2 sheets parallel to (111) plane of cubic MgAl2O4 substrates were stabilized by heating amorphous films. The hole doping associated with Li+ ion deintercalation triggered superconductivity below 4.2 kelvin. Optical measurements revealed that the averaged transmittance to the visible light of ~100-nanometer-thick Li1−xNbO2 was ~77%, despite the large number of hole carriers exceeding 1022 per cubic centimeter. These results indicate that Li1−xNbO2 is a previously unknown p-type transparent superconductor, in which strongly correlated electrons at the largely isolated Nb 4dz2 band play an important role for the high transparency.

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