Topological superconductivity in metal/quantum-spin-ice heterostructures

Jian Huang She, Choong H. Kim, Craig J. Fennie, Michael J. Lawler, Eun Ah Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We propose a strategy to achieve an unconventional superconductor in a heterostructure: use a quantum paramagnet (QPM) as a substrate for heterostructure growth of metallic films to design exotic superconductors. The proposed setup allows us to "customize" electron-electron interaction imprinted on the metallic layer. The QPM material of our choice is quantum spin ice. Assuming the metallic layer forms a single isotropic Fermi pocket, we predict its coupling to spin fluctuations in quantum spin ice will drive topological odd-parity pairing. We further present guiding principles for materializing the suitable heterostructure using ab initio calculations and describe the band structure we predict for the case of Y2Sn2-x Sb x O7 grown on the (111) surface of Pr2Zr2O7. Using this microscopic information, we predict topological odd-parity superconductivity at a few Kelvin in this heterostructure, which is comparable to the T c of the only other confirmed odd-parity superconductor Sr2RuO4.

Original languageEnglish
Article number64
Journalnpj Quantum Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017

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