Tunable coupling between InSb nanowires and superconductors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


The quest for topological states in hybrid nanowire devices has ignited substantial research in perfecting the nanowire-superconductor interface. Recent proposals, however, suggest that these immaculate interfaces can lead to an overly strong superconducting-semiconducting coupling that "metalizes"the nanowire (i.e., dominates its intrinsic properties which are essential for hosting topological particles). One way to reduce this coupling is to add an insulating shell between the nanowire and the superconductor. Here, we explore cadmium telluride (CdTe) shells as a tunnel barrier at the interface between indium antimonide (InSb) nanowires and a superconductor. We demonstrate the growth of epitaxial, defect-free CdTe on InSb and high-quality superconductor deposition at cryogenic temperatures, enabled by the near perfect lattice match of CdTe and InSb and their comparable thermal-expansion coefficients. Using growth and etching, we control the thickness of CdTe shells down to a few monolayers. This level of control indicates the potential of these shells to serve as a knob that modulates the coupling between a nanowire and a superconductor, possibly introducing a new generation of nanowire hybrids suitable for topological Majorana devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number016201
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Prof. Jay D. Sau for his guidance on the gap estimate calculations. This work is funded by the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), the European Research Council (ERC HELENA 617256), and Microsoft Corporation Station-Q. Solliance and the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant are acknowledged for funding the TEM facility.


Dive into the research topics of 'Tunable coupling between InSb nanowires and superconductors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this