Stencil lithography of superconducting contacts on MBE-grown topological insulator thin films

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Schüffelgen, Peter
Rosenbach, Daniel
Neumann, Elmar
Stehno, Martin P.
Lanius, Martin
Zhao, Jialin
Wang, Meng
Sheehan, Brendan
Schmidt, Michael
Gao, Bo
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Elsevier B.V.
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Topological insulator (Bi0.06Sb0.94)2Te3 thin films grown by molecular beam epitaxy have been capped in-situ with a 2 nm Al film to conserve the pristine topological surface states. Subsequently, a shadow mask - structured by means of focus ion beam - was in-situ placed underneath the sample to deposit a thick layer of Al on well-defined microscopically small areas. The 2 nm thin Al layer fully oxidizes after exposure to air and in this way protects the TI surface from degradation. The thick Al layer remains metallic underneath a 3–4 nm thick native oxide layer and therefore serves as (super-) conducting contacts. Superconductor-Topological Insulator-Superconductor junctions with lateral dimensions in the nm range have then been fabricated via an alternative stencil lithography technique. Despite the in-situ deposition, transport measurements and transmission electron microscope analysis indicate a low transparency, due to an intermixed region at the interface between topological insulator thin film and metallic Al.
Shadow mask , Stencil lithography , Molecular beam epitaxy , Superconductor , Topological insulator , Josephson junction
Schüffelgen, P., Rosenbach, D., Neumann, E., Stehno, M. P., Lanius, M., Zhao, J., Wang, M., Sheehan, B., Schmidt, M., Gao, B., Brinkman, A., Mussler, G., Schäpers, T. and Grützmacher, D. (2017) 'Stencil lithography of superconducting contacts on MBE-grown topological insulator thin films', Journal of Crystal Growth, 477, pp. 183-187. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrysgro.2017.03.035