Epitaxially Driven Phase Selectivity of Sn in Hybrid Quantum Nanowires

Sabbir A. Khan*, Sara Martí-Sánchez*, Dags Olsteins, Charalampos Lampadaris, Damon James Carrad, Yu Liu, Judith Quiñones, Maria Chiara Spadaro, Thomas Sand Jespersen, Peter Krogstrup*, Jordi Arbiol*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Hybrid semiconductor-superconductor nanowires constitute a pervasive platform for studying gate-tunable superconductivity and the emergence of topological behavior. Their low dimensionality and crystal structure flexibility facilitate unique heterostructure growth and efficient material optimization, crucial prerequisites for accurately constructing complex multicomponent quantum materials. Here, we present an extensive study of Sn growth on InSb, InAsSb, and InAs nanowires and demonstrate how the crystal structure of the nanowires drives the formation of either semimetallic α-Sn or superconducting β-Sn. For InAs nanowires, we observe phase-pure superconducting β-Sn shells. However, for InSb and InAsSb nanowires, an initial epitaxial α-Sn phase evolves into a polycrystalline shell of coexisting α and β phases, where the β/α volume ratio increases with Sn shell thickness. Whether these nanowires exhibit superconductivity or not critically relies on the β-Sn content. Therefore, this work provides key insights into Sn phases on a variety of semiconductors with consequences for the yield of superconducting hybrids suitable for generating topological systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11794-11804
JournalACS Nano
Issue number12
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

The project was supported by Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science, European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant No. 722176 (INDEED), Microsoft Station Q, and the European Research Council (ERC) under Grant No. 716655 (HEMs-DAM). Materials growth of this project is performed at NBI Molecular Beam Epitaxy System, and the authors acknowledge C. B. Sørensen for all the maintenance and keeping the system up and running. ICN2 acknowledges funding from Generalitat de Catalunya 2021SGR00457. This study was supported by MCIN with funding from European Union NextGenerationEU (PRTR-C17.I1) and Generalitat de Catalunya and by “ERDF A way of making Europe”, by the European Union. ICN2 is supported by the Severo Ochoa program from Spanish MCIN / AEI (Grant No.: CEX2021-001214-S) and is funded by the CERCA Programme/Generalitat de Catalunya. The authors acknowledge the use of instrumentation as well as the technical advice provided by the National Facility ELECMI ICTS, node “Laboratorio de Microscopías Avanzadas” at University of Zaragoza. M.C.S. has received funding from the postdoctoral fellowship Juan de la Cierva Incorporation from MICINN (JCI-2019) and the Severo Ochoa program. We acknowledge support from CSIC Interdisciplinary Thematic Platform (PTI+) on Quantum Technologies (PTI-QTEP+). This research is part of the CSIC program for the Spanish Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan funded by the Recovery and Resilience Facility of the European Union, established by the Regulation (EU) 2020/2094. Authors acknowledge the use of instrumentation as well as the technical advice provided by the Joint Electron Microscopy Center at ALBA (JEMCA). ICN2 acknowledges funding from “ERDF A way of making Europe”, by the “European Union” and Generalitat de Catalunya for the project METCAM-FIB.


  • Nanowires
  • Topological materials
  • Semiconductor-superconductor hybrid
  • Sn
  • Quantum computing
  • Interface
  • Epitaxy


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