Superconductivity in electron-doped C60 was first observed almost ten years ago. The metallic state and superconductivity result from the transfer of electrons from alkaline or alkaline-earth ions to the C60 molecule, which is known to be a strong electron acceptor. For this reason, it is very difficult to remove electrons from C60—yet one might expect to see superconductivity at higher temperatures in hole-doped than in electron-doped C60, because of the higher density of electronic states in the valence band than in the conduction band. We have used the technique of gate-induced doping in a field-effect transistor configuration to introduce significant densities of holes into C60. We observe superconductivity over an extended range of hole density, with a smoothly varying transition temperature Tc that peaks at 52 K. By comparison with the well established dependence of Tc on the lattice parameter in electron-doped C60, we anticipate that Tc values significantly in excess of 100 K should be achievable in a suitably expanded, hole-doped C60 lattice.
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We thank E. A. Chandross and C. M. Varma for discussions, and E. Bucher for the use of his equipment.
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Schön, J., Kloc, C. & Batlogg, B. Superconductivity at 52 K in hole-doped C60. Nature 408, 549–552 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1038/35046008
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