Topological materials which are also superconducting are of great current interest, since they may exhibit a non-trivial topologically-mediated superconducting phase. Although there have been many reports of pressure-tuned or chemical-doping-induced superconductivity in a variety of topological materials, there have been few examples of intrinsic, ambient pressure superconductivity in a topological system having a stoichiometric composition. Here, we report that the pure intermetallic CaSn3 not only exhibits topological fermion properties, but also has a superconducting phase at ∼1.178 K under ambient pressure. The topological fermion properties, including the nearly zero quasi-particle mass and the non-trivial Berry phase accumulated in cyclotron motions, were revealed from the de Haas-van Alphen (dHvA) quantum oscillation studies of this material. Although CaSn3 was previously reported to be superconducting with Tc = 4.2 K, our studies show that the Tc = 4.2 K superconductivity is extrinsic and caused by Sn on the degraded surface, whereas its intrinsic bulk superconducting transition occurs at 1.178 K. These findings make CaSn3 a promising candidate for exploring new exotic states arising from the interplay between non-trivial band topology and superconductivity, e.g. topological superconductivity (TSC).
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Journal of Physics Condensed Matter
Zhu, Y., Hu, J., Womack, F., Graf, D., Wang, Y., Adams, P., & Mao, Z. (2019). Emergence of intrinsic superconductivity below 1.178 K in the topologically non-trivial semimetal state of CaSn3. Journal of Physics Condensed Matter, 21 (24) https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-648X/ab0f0d