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Andreev bound states at boundaries of polarized 2D Fermi superfluids with s-wave pairing and spin-orbit coupling

Kadin Thompson, Joachim Brand, Ulrich Zuelicke

SciPost Phys. 14, 115 (2023) · published 16 May 2023


A topological superfluid phase characterized by an emergent chiral-p-wave pair potential is expected to form in a two-dimensional Fermi superfluid subject to s-wave pairing, spin-orbit coupling and a large-enough Zeeman splitting. Andreev bound states appear at phase boundaries, including Majorana zero modes whose existence is assured by the bulk-boundary correspondence principle. Here we study the physical properties of these subgap-energy bound states at step-like interfaces using the spin-resolved Bogoliubov-de$\,$Gennes mean-field formalism and assuming small spin-orbit coupling. Extending a recently developed spin-projection technique based on Feshbach partitioning [SciPost Phys. 5, 016 (2018)] combined with the Andreev approximation allows us to obtain remarkably simple analytical expressions for the bound-state energies as well as the majority and minority spin components of their wave functions. Besides the vacuum boundary, where a majority-spin Majorana excitation is encountered, we also consider the boundary between the topological and a nontopological superfluid phase that can appear in a coexistence scenario due to the first-order topological phase transition predicted for this system. At this superfluid-superfluid interface, we find a localized chiral Majorana mode hosted by the minority-spin sector. Our theory further predicts majority-spin subgap-energy bound states similar to those found at a Josephson junction between same-chirality p-wave superfluids. Their presence affects the Majorana mode due to a coupling of minority and majority spin sectors only in the small energy range where their spectra overlap. Our results may inform experimental efforts aimed at realizing and characterizing unconventional Majorana quasiparticles.

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