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Integrating superconductors with semiconductors has long been thought to be essential to overcome the current limitations of electronic devices, but has been challenging to achieve. In a paper in Nature, Yan et al.1 report their use of a technique known as molecular beam epitaxy to grow layers of semiconductors on top of a superconductor. The resulting device has potentially useful electronic properties that hint at future applications for semiconductor–superconductor interfaces.

The development of increasingly sophisticated electronic devices is aided by efforts to make new combinations of materials — or, more specifically, new interfaces between materials, at which potentially useful electronic effects can occur. The credo underlying this concept is that “the interface is the device”2. This is particularly true for interfaces involving superconductors.

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Category: Science