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Phonon-mediated superconductivity in graphene by lithium deposition

Nature Physics volume 8, pages 131134 (2012) | Download Citation


Graphene1 is the physical realization of many fundamental concepts and phenomena in solid-state physics2. However, in the list of graphene’s many remarkable properties3,4,5,6, superconductivity is notably absent. If it were possible to find a way to induce superconductivity, it could improve the performance and enable more efficient integration of a variety of promising device concepts including nanoscale superconducting quantum interference devices, single-electron superconductor–quantum dot devices7,8, nanometre-scale superconducting transistors9 and cryogenic solid-state coolers10. To this end, we explore the possibility of inducing superconductivity in a graphene sheet by doping its surface with alkaline metal adatoms, in a manner analogous to which superconductivity is induced in graphite intercalated compounds11,12 (GICs). As for GICs, we find that the electrical characteristics of graphene are sensitive to the species of adatom used. However, contrary to what happens in GICs, Li-covered graphene is superconducting at a much higher temperature with respect to Ca-covered graphene.

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This work was supported by a CINECA-HPC ISCRA grant, the EU DEISA-SUPERMAG project and an HPC grant at CASPUR. Some of the calculations were carried out at the IDRIS supercomputing centre (project 91202).

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  1. Dipartimento di Fisica Università degli Studi di L’Aquila and SPIN-CNR, I-67100 L’Aquila, Italy

    • Gianni Profeta
  2. Max-Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, Weinberg 2, D-06120 Halle, Germany

    • Gianni Profeta
  3. IMPMC, Universitè Paris 6, CNRS, 4 Pl. Jussieu, 75015 Paris, France

    • Matteo Calandra
    •  & Francesco Mauri


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All of the authors contributed equally to the project.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gianni Profeta.

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