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We report on superconducting properties of a novel material: rhenium-lutetium films. Different compositions of RexLu binary are explored from x ≈ 3.8 to close to pure Re stoichiometry. The highest critical temperature, up to 7 K, is obtained for x ≈ 10.5 in accordance with electron dispersive spectroscopy results. Depending on the deposition conditions, polycrystalline or amorphous films are obtainable, both of which are interesting for practical use. Crystalline structure of polycrystalline phase is identified as a non-centrosymmetric superconductor using grazing incidence x-ray diffractometry. Superconducting properties were characterized both resistively and magnetically. Magnetoresistivity and AC/DC susceptibility measurements allowed us to determine and of these films, as well as estimate coherence length and magnetic penetration depth . We also provide information on surface morphology of these films. Demonstration of superconductivity in this material justifies the point of view that Lu plays a role of group 3 transition metal in period 6 of the Periodic table of elements. Then, in analogy with Re–Nb, Re–Ti, Re–Hf and Re–Zr, one can expect that crystalline Re–Lu also breaks time-reversal symmetry. If that is proven by future experiments, in combination with noncentrosymmetric feature, these films could be used for forming nonreciprocal current devices, such as superconducting diodes, without involvement of external magnetic fields.


This article was originally published in Superconductor Science and Technology, volume 37, in 2024.

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