Evidences for pressure-induced two-phase superconductivity and mixed structures of NiTe2 and NiTe in type-II Dirac semimetal NiTe2-x (x = 0.38 ± 0.09) single crystals

Bulk NiTe2 is a type-II Dirac semimetal with non-trivial Berry phases associated with the Dirac fermions. Theory suggests that monolayer NiTe2 is a two-gap superconductor, whereas experimental investigation of bulk NiTe1.98 for pressures (P) up to 71.2 GPa do not reveal any superconductivity. Here we report experimental evidences for pressure-induced two-phase superconductivity as well as mixed structures of NiTe2 and NiTe in Te-deficient NiTe2-x (x = 0.38 ± 0.09) single crystals. Hole-dominant multi-band superconductivity with the P3¯m1 hexagonal-symmetry structure of NiTe2 appears at P ≥ 0.5 GPa, whereas electron-dominant single-band superconductivity with the P2/m monoclinic-symmetry structure of NiTe emerges at 14.5 GPa < P < 18.4 GPa. The coexistence of hexagonal and monoclinic structures and two-phase superconductivity is accompanied by a zero Hall coefficient up to ∼ 40 GPa, and the second superconducting phase prevails above 40 GPa, reaching a maximum Tc = 7.8 K and persisting up to 52.8 GPa. Our findings suggest the critical role of Te-vacancies in the occurrence of superconductivity and potentially nontrivial topological properties in NiTe2-x.

https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1cTXE926gyzxH0