Unconventional superconductivity was realized in systems comprising a monolayer of magnetic adatoms adsorbed on conventional superconductors, forming Shiba-bands. Another approach to induce unconventional superconductivity and 2D Shiba-bands was recently introduced, namely, by adsorbing chiral molecules (ChMs) on conventional superconductors, which act in a similar way to magnetic impurities as verified by conductance spectroscopy. However, the fundamental effect ChMs have on the strength of superconductivity has not yet been directly observed and mapped. In this work, local magnetic susceptometry is applied on heterostructures comprising islands of ChMs (α-helix L-polyalanine) monolayers adsorbed on Nb. It is found that the ChMs alter the superconducting landscape, resulting in spatially-modulated weaker superconductivity. Surprisingly, the reduced diamagnetic response is located along the perimeter of the islands with respect to both their interior and the bare Nb. The authors suggest that topological edge-states forming at the edges are the source of the reduced superconductivity, akin to the case of magnetic islands. The results pave new paths for the realization of topological-superconductivity-based devices with changing order parameter.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
M.O. and T.R.D. contributed equally to this work. This research was supported in parts by the Niedersachsen Ministry of Science and Culture and a grant from the Academia Sinica – Hebrew University Research Program (O.M. and Y.P.). O.M. thanks support from the Harry de Jur Chair in Applied Science. A.D.B. acknowledges support from a Sofja Kovalevskaja Grant endowed by the Alexander von Humboldt foundation and from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG9 Priority program SPP 2244 (grant no. 443404566). T.R.D., E.P., A.V.B., and B.K. were supported by the European Research Council grant no. ERC‐2019‐COG‐866236, the Israeli Science Foundation grant no. ISF‐1251/19, and the Pazy Research Foundation grant no. 107‐2018.
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- chiral molecules
- magnetic properties