Spectroscopy of bulk and few-layer superconducting NbSe2 with van der Waals tunnel junctions

T. Dvir, F. Massee, L. Attias, M. Khodas, M. Aprili, C. H.L. Quay, H. Steinberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Tunnel junctions, an established platform for high resolution spectroscopy of superconductors, require defect-free insulating barriers; however, oxides, the most common barrier, can only grow on a limited selection of materials. We show that van der Waals tunnel barriers, fabricated by exfoliation and transfer of layered semiconductors, sustain stable currents with strong suppression of sub-gap tunneling. This allows us to measure the spectra of bulk (20 nm) and ultrathin (3- and 4-layer) NbSe2 devices at 70 mK. These exhibit two distinct superconducting gaps, the larger of which decreases monotonically with thickness and critical temperature. The spectra are analyzed using a two-band model incorporating depairing. In the bulk, the smaller gap exhibits strong depairing in in-plane magnetic fields, consistent with high out-of-plane Fermi velocity. In the few-layer devices, the large gap exhibits negligible depairing, consistent with out-of-plane spin locking due to Ising spin–orbit coupling. In the 3-layer device, the large gap persists beyond the Pauli limit.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number598
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018

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