Nanocalorimetric Evidence for Nematic Superconductivity in the Doped Topological Insulator Sr$_{0.1}$Bi$_{2}$Se$_{3}$

Kristin Willa, Roland Willa, Kok Wee Song, G. D. Gu, John A. Schneeloch, Ruidan Zhong, Alexei E. Koshelev, Wai-Kwong Kwok, Ulrich Welp

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    Spontaneous rotational-symmetry breaking in the superconducting state of doped $\mathrm{Bi}_2\mathrm{Se}_3$ has attracted significant attention as an indicator for topological superconductivity. In this paper, high-resolution calorimetry of the single-crystal $\mathrm{Sr}_{0.1}\mathrm{Bi}_2\mathrm{Se}_3$ provides unequivocal evidence of a two-fold rotational symmetry in the superconducting gap by a \emph{bulk thermodynamic} probe, a fingerprint of nematic superconductivity. The extremely small specific heat anomaly resolved with our high-sensitivity technique is consistent with the material's low carrier concentration proving bulk superconductivity. The large basal-plane anisotropy of $H_{c2}$ is attributed to a nematic phase of a two-component topological gap structure $\vec{\eta} = (\eta_{1}, \eta_{2})$ and caused by a symmetry-breaking energy term $\delta (|\eta_{1}|^{2} - |\eta_{2}|^{2}) T_{c}$. A quantitative analysis of our data excludes more conventional sources of this two-fold anisotropy and provides the first estimate for the symmetry-breaking strength $\delta \approx 0.1$, a value that points to an onset transition of the second order parameter component below 2K.
    Original languageUndefined
    JournalPhys. Rev. B
    Early online date30 Jul 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • cond-mat.supr-con

    Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

    • National Graphene Institute

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