Superconducting FeSe0.8Te0.2 thin films on SrTiO3, LaAlO3 and CaF2 substrates were electrochemically etched in an ionic liquid, DEME-TFSI, electrolyte with a gate bias of 5 V. Superconductivity at 38 K was observed on all substrates after the etching of films with a thickness greater than 30 nm, despite the different Tc values of 8 K, 12 K and 19 K observed before etching on SrTiO3, LaAlO3 and CaF2 substrates, respectively. Tc returned to its original value with the removal of the gate bias. The observation of Tc enhancement for these thick films indicates that the Tc enhancement is unrelated to any interfacial effects between the film and the substrate. The sheet resistance and Hall coefficient of the surface conducting layer were estimated from the gate bias dependence of the transport properties. The sheet resistances of the surface conducting layers of the films on LaAlO3 and CaF2 showed identical temperature dependence, and the Hall coefficient was found to be almost independent of temperature and to take values of −0.05 to −0.2 m2/C, corresponding to 4–17 electrons per FeSe0.8Te0.2 unit cell area in two dimensions. These common transport properties on various substrates suggest that the superconductivity at 38 K appears in the surface conducting layer as a result of an electrochemical reaction between the surface of the FeSe0.8Te0.2 thin film and the ionic liquid electrolyte.
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