Three decades after the prediction of charge-vortex duality in the critical vicinity of the two-dimensional superconductor-insulator transition (SIT), one of the fundamental implications of this duality—the charge Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless (BKT) transition that should occur on the insulating side of the SIT—has remained unobserved. The dual picture of the process points to the existence of a superinsulating state endowed with zero conductance at finite temperature. We report the observation of the charge BKT transition on the insulating side of the SIT in 10 nm thick NbTiN films grown by Atomic Layer Deposition, identified by the BKT critical behavior of the temperature and magnetic field dependent resistance, and map out the magnetic-field dependence of the critical temperature of the charge BKT transition. Finally, we ascertain the effects of the finite electrostatic screening length and its divergence at the magnetic field-tuned approach to the superconductor-insulator transition.
Contact: Thomas Proslier
T. Proslier, dépêche du 06/03/2018