Enhanced vortex pinning in Nb using proximity effect through organic molecules

Eran Katzir Koide, Nir Sukenik, Hen Alpern, Shira Yochelis, Oded Millo, Yossi Paltiel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


While the superconductor proximity effect is well understood in layered superconductor/normalmetal junctions, its understanding is quite limited in systems involving nanoparticles (NPs) and molecules. In recent studies, a unique inverse proximity effect phenomenon was found in which the critical temperatures of Nb films surprisingly increased upon the chemical attachment of gold NPs. Concomitantly, the tunneling density of states on and around the gold NPs was significantly modified, showing either zero-bias peaks or the development of proximity gaps in the NPs. These results seem to be related to the molecule-mediated coupling strength. Here, we study the strong molecular coupling regime of such an architecture, for which proximity gaps are induced in Au NPs.Weshow that significant pinning is induced in a periodic array of Au NPs coupled to a superconducting surface via organic molecules. The pinning potential in this case is stronger than the potential achieved through the direct proximity of Au or Ni islands to the superconducting surface. Amatching field magnetoresistance signal can only be identified using the hybrid Au/organic-linker/Nb system. In this case, the matching vortex lattice density is higher than the saturation number. These results suggest that the NP-Nb electrical coupling through the molecules induces a resonance behavior, which modifies the local pairing amplitude.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number025001
JournalJournal of Physics Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • matching field
  • nanoparticles
  • self-assembled monolayer
  • superconductivity
  • vortex pinning


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