Disorder-controlled superconductivity at YBa_(2)Cu_(3)O_(7)/SrTiO_(3) interfaces

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We examine the effect of interface disorder in suppressing superconductivity in coherently grown ultrathin YBa_(2)Cu_(3)O_(7) (YBCO) layers on SrTiO_(3) (STO) in YBCO/STO superlattices. The termination plane of the STO is TiO_(2) and the CuO chains are missing at the interface. Disorder (steps) at the STO interface cause alterations of the stacking sequence of the intracell YBCO atomic layers. Stacking faults give rise to antiphase boundaries which break the continuity of the CuO_(2) planes and depress superconductivity. We show that superconductivity is directly controlled by interface disorder outlining the importance of pair breaking and localization by disorder in ultrathin layers.
© 2013 American Physical Society. We acknowledge financial support by Spanish MINECO through Grants No. MAT2011-27470-C02 and Consolider Ingenio 2010 No. CSD2009-00013 (Imagine), and the World Wide Materials Program, by CAM through Grant No. S2009/MAT-1756 (Phama), and by the ERC starting Investigator Award, Grant No. 239739 STEMOX (GSS). Research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory was sponsored by the US Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division. J.G.B. acknowledges financial support through the Ramon y Cajal Program.
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