Intercalant‐independent transition temperature in superconducting black phosphorus

Renyan Zhang, John Waters, Andre Geim, Irina Grigorieva

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    Research on black phosphorus has been experiencing a renaissance over the last years, after the demonstration that few-layer crystals exhibit high carrier mobility and a thickness-dependent bandgap. Black phosphorus is also known to be a superconductor under high pressure exceeding 10 GPa. The superconductivity is due to a structural transformation into another allotrope and accompanied by a semiconductor-metal transition. No superconductivity could be achieved for black phosphorus in its normal orthorhombic form, despite several reported attempts. Here we describe its intercalation by several alkali metals (Li, K, Rb and Cs) and alkali-earth Ca. All the intercalated compounds are found to be superconducting, exhibiting the same (within experimental accuracy) critical temperature of 3.8±0.1 K and practically identical characteristics in the superconducting state. Such universal superconductivity, independent of the chemical composition, is highly unusual. We attribute it to intrinsic superconductivity of heavily doped individual phosphorene layers, while the intercalated layers of metal atoms play mostly a role of charge reservoirs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number15036
    JournalNature Communications
    Early online date12 Apr 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2017

    Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

    • National Graphene Institute


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