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Unexpected superconductivity at nanoscale junctions made on the topological crystalline insulator Pb0.6
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Discovery of exotic phases of matter from the topologically non-trivial systems not only makes the research on topological materials more interesting but also enriches our understanding of the fascinating physics of such materials. Pb
0.6Sn0.4Te was recently shown to be a topological crystalline insulator. Here, we show that by forming a mesoscopic point-contact using a normal non-superconducting elemental metal on the surface of Pb
0.6Sn0.4Te, a superconducting phase is created locally in a confined region under the point-contact. This happens when the bulk of the sample remains to be non-superconducting, and the superconducting phase emerges as a nano-droplet under the point-contact. The superconducting phase shows a high transition temperature Tc that varies for different point-contacts and falls in a range between 3.7 K and 6.5 K. Therefore, this Letter presents the discovery of a superconducting phase on the surface of a topological crystalline insulator, and the discovery is expected to shed light on the mechanism of induced superconductivity in topologically non-trivial systems in general.
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