Epitaxy of semiconductor-superconductor nanowires

P. Krogstrup, N.L.B. Ziino, W. Chang, S.M. Albrecht, M.H. Madsen, Erik Johnson, J. Nygård, C.M. Marcus, T.S. Jespersen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Controlling the properties of semiconductor/metal interfaces is a powerful method for designing functionality and improving the performance of electrical devices. Recently semiconductor/superconductor hybrids have appeared as an important example where the atomic scale uniformity of the interface plays a key role in determining the quality of the induced superconducting gap. Here we present epitaxial growth of semiconductor-metal core-shell nanowires by molecular beam epitaxy, a method that provides a conceptually new route to controlled electrical contacting of nanostructures and the design of devices for specialized applications such as topological and gate-controlled superconducting electronics. Our materials of choice, InAs/Al grown with epitaxially matched single-plane interfaces, and alternative semiconductor/metal combinations allowing epitaxial interface matching in nanowires are discussed. We formulate the grain growth kinetics of the metal phase in general terms of continuum parameters and bicrystal symmetries. The method realizes the ultimate limit of uniform interfaces and seems to solve the soft-gap problem in superconducting hybrid structures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Materials
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)400-406
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Epitaxial growth
  • Growth kinetics
  • Interfaces (materials)
  • Molecular beam epitaxy
  • Nanowires
  • Semiconductor devices
  • Semiconductor growth
  • Superconducting devices
  • Atomic scale
  • Electrical devices
  • Epitaxial interfaces
  • Hybrid structure
  • Plane interface
  • Superconducting electronics
  • Superconducting gaps
  • Uniform interface
  • Grain growth
  • cond-mat.mtrl-sci cond-mat.mes-hall cond-mat.supr-con


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