Nonlinear optical and electrical effects associated with a lack of spatial inversion symmetry allow direction-selective propagation and transport of quantum particles, such as photons1 and electrons2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. The most common example of such nonreciprocal phenomena is a semiconductor diode with a p–n junction, with a low resistance in one direction and a high resistance in the other. Although the diode effect forms the basis of numerous electronic components, such as rectifiers, alternating–direct-current converters and photodetectors, it introduces an inevitable energy loss due to the finite resistance. Therefore, a worthwhile goal is to realize a superconducting diode that has zero resistance in only one direction. Here we demonstrate a magnetically controllable superconducting diode in an artificial superlattice [Nb/V/Ta]n without a centre of inversion. The nonreciprocal resistance versus current curve at the superconducting-to-normal transition was clearly observed by a direct-current measurement, and the difference of the critical current is considered to be related to the magnetochiral anisotropy caused by breaking of the spatial-inversion and time-reversal symmetries10,11,12,13. Owing to the nonreciprocal critical current, the [Nb/V/Ta]n superlattice exhibits zero resistance in only one direction. This superconducting diode effect enables phase-coherent and direction-selective charge transport, paving the way for the construction of non-dissipative electronic circuits.
Your institute does not have access to this article
Open Access articles citing this article.
Nature Physics Open Access 15 August 2022
Nature Communications Open Access 23 July 2022
Demonstration of a superconducting diode-with-memory, operational at zero magnetic field with switchable nonreciprocity
Nature Communications Open Access 27 June 2022
Subscribe to Nature+
Get immediate online access to the entire Nature family of 50+ journals
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $3.90 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request.
Rikken, G. L. J. A. & Raupach, E. Observation of magneto-chiral dichroism. Nature 390, 493–494 (1997).
Braun, F. Ueber die Stromleitung durch Schwefelmetalls. Ann. Phys. 153, 556–563 (1874).
Rikken, G. L. J. A. & Wyder, P. Electrical magnetochiral anisotropy. Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 236602 (2001).
Rikken, G. L. J. A. Magnetoelectric anisotropy in diffusive transport. Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 016601 (2005).
Pop, F., Auban-senzier, P., Canadell, E., Rikken, G. L. J. A. & Avarvari, N. Electrical magnetochiral anisotropy in a bulk chiral molecular conductor. Nat. Commun. 5, 3757 (2014).
Morimoto, T. & Nagaosa, N. Chiral anomaly and giant magnetochiral anisotropy in noncentrosymmetric Weyl semimetals. Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 146603 (2016).
Ideue, T. et al. Bulk rectification effect in a polar semiconductor. Nat. Phys. 13, 578–583 (2017).
Tokura, Y. & Nagaosa, N. Nonreciprocal responses from noncentrosymmetric quantum materials. Nat. Commun. 9, 3740 (2018).
Choe, D. et al. Gate-tunable giant nonreciprocal charge transport in noncentrosymmetric oxide interfaces. Nat. Commun. 10, 4510 (2019).
Wakatsuki, R. et al. Nonreciprocal charge transport in noncentrosymmetric superconductors. Sci. Adv. 3, e1602390 (2017).
Qin, F. et al. Superconductivity in a chiral nanotube. Nat. Commun. 8, 14465 (2017).
Yasuda, K. et al. Nonreciprocal charge transport at topological insulator/superconductor interface. Nat. Commun. 10, 2734 (2019).
Hoshino, S., Wakatsuki, R., Hamamoto, K. & Nagaosa, N. Nonreciprocal charge transport in two-dimensional noncentrosymmetric superconductors. Phys. Rev. B 98, 054510 (2018).
Bychkov, Y. A. & Rashba, I. E. Properties of a 2D electron gas with lifted spectral degeneracy. JETP Lett. 39, 78–81 (1984).
LaShell, S., Mcdougall, B. A. & Jensen, E. Spin splitting of an Au (111) surface state band observed with angle resolved photoelectron spectroscopy. Phys. Rev. Lett. 77, 3419–3422 (1996).
Ishizaka, K. et al. Giant Rashba-type spin splitting in bulk BiTeI. Nat. Mater. 10, 521–526 (2011).
Lustikova, J. et al. Vortex rectenna powered by environmental fluctuations. Nat. Commun. 9, 4922 (2018).
Pradipto, A. et al. Enhanced perpendicular magnetocrystalline anisotropy energy in an artificial magnetic material with bulk spin-momentum coupling. Phys. Rev. B 99, 180410 (2019).
Nishimura, T. et al. Fabrication of ferrimagnetic Co/Gd/Pt multilayers with structural inversion symmetry breaking. J. Magn. Soc. Jpn 44, 9–14 (2020).
Ando, F. et al. Fabrication of noncentrosymmetric Nb/V/Ta superlattice and its superconductivity. J. Magn. Soc. Jpn 43, 17–20 (2019).
Wakatsuki, R. & Nagaosa, N. Nonreciprocal current in noncentrosymmetric Rashba superconductors. Phys. Rev. Lett. 121, 026601 (2018).
Yip, S. Noncentrosymmetric superconductors. Annu. Rev. Condens. Matter Phys. 5, 15–33 (2014).
Bauer, E. & Sigrist, M. Non-Centrosymmetric Superconductors: Introduction and Overview (Springer, 2012).
Gor’kov, L. P. & Rashba, E. I. Superconducting 2D system with lifted spin degeneracy: mixed singlet-triplet state. Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 037004 (2001).
Frigeri, P., Agterberg, D. F., Koga, A. & Sigrist, M. Superconductivity without inversion symmetry: MnSi versus CePt3Si. Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 097001 (2004).
Fujimoto, S. Electron correlation and pairing states in superconductors without inversion symmetry. J. Phys. Soc. Jpn 76, 051008 (2007).
Yanase, Y. & Sigrist, M. Superconductivity and magnetism in non-centrosymmetric system: application to CePt3Si. J. Phys. Soc. Jpn 77, 124711 (2008).
Smidman, M., Salamon, M. B., Yuan, H. Q. & Agterberg, D. F. Superconductivity and spin-orbit coupling in non-centrosymmetric materials: a review. Rep. Prog. Phys. 80, 036501 (2017).
Edelstein, V. M. Characteristics of the Cooper pairing in two-dimensional noncentrosymmetric electron systems. [Sov. Phys. JETP 68, 1244 (1989)] Zh. Eksp. Teor. Fiz. 95, 2151 (1989).
Itahashi, Y. M. et al. Nonreciprocal transport in gate-induced polar superconductor SrTiO3. Sci. Adv. 6, eaay9120 (2020).
Blaha, P. et al. WIEN2k, An Augmented Plane Wave+Local Orbitals Program for Calculating Crystal Properties (Karlheinz Schwarz, 2018).
Blaha, P. et al. WIEN2k: An APW+lo program for calculating the properties of solids. J. Chem. Phys. 152, 074101 (2020).
Werthamer, N. R., Helfand, E. & Hohenberg, P. C. Temperature and purity dependence of the superconducting critical field, H c2. III. Electron spin and spin-orbit effects. Phys. Rev. 147, 295–302 (1966).
We thank Y. Kasahara, Y. Matsuda and K. Ishida for discussions about the superconducting properties of the [Nb/V/Ta]n superlattice. This work was supported partly by JSPS KAKENHI grants (15H05702, 15H05884, 15H05745, 17H04924, 18K19021, 18H04225, 18H01178, 18H05227, 18H01815, 19K21972 and 26103002), by the Cooperative Research Project Program of the Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University, and by the Collaborative Research Program of the Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University.
The authors declare no competing interests.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Extended data figures and tables
a, Band structure of a slab [Nb/V/Ta]5 along the high-symmetry line. b, Low-energy electron band near the M point.
Extended Data Fig. 2 The nonreciprocal component of the critical current ΔIc as a function of magnetic field in a 120-nm-thick Nb film.
The inset shows the temperature dependence of the d.c. sheet resistance.
Extended Data Fig. 3 First-harmonic sheet resistances Rω of the [Nb/V/Ta]n superlattice as a function of magnetic field in the vicinity of Tc.
The temperature dependence of the critical field Bc2 is shown in the inset.
About this article
Cite this article
Ando, F., Miyasaka, Y., Li, T. et al. Observation of superconducting diode effect. Nature 584, 373–376 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2590-4
Giant magnetochiral anisotropy from quantum-confined surface states of topological insulator nanowires
Nature Nanotechnology (2022)
Nature Communications (2022)
Nature Communications (2022)
Nature Physics (2022)