Strong coupling superconductivity in a quasiperiodic host-guest structure.

24 May 2018

We examine the low-temperature states supported by the quasiperiodic host-guest structure of elemental bismuth at high pressure, Bi-III. Our electronic transport and magnetization experiments establish Bi-III as a rare example of type II superconductivity in an element, with a record upper critical field of ~ 2.5 T, unusually strong electron-phonon coupling, and an anomalously large, linear temperature dependence of the electrical resistivity in the normal state. These properties may be attributed to the peculiar phonon spectrum of incommensurate host-guest structures, which exhibit additional quasi-acoustic sliding modes, suggesting a pathway toward strong coupling superconductivity with the potential for enhanced transition temperatures and high critical fields.