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Supercurrent-induced Majorana bound states in a planar geometry

by André Melo, Sebastian Rubbert, Anton R. Akhmerov

Submission summary

As Contributors: Anton Akhmerov · André Melo
Arxiv Link:
Date submitted: 2019-09-11
Submitted by: Melo, André
Submitted to: SciPost Physics
Domain(s): Theoretical
Subject area: Condensed Matter Physics - Theory


We propose a new setup for creating Majorana bound states in a two-dimensional electron gas Josephson junction. Our proposal relies exclusively on a supercurrent parallel to the junction as a mechanism of breaking time-reversal symmetry. We show that combined with spin-orbit coupling, supercurrents induce a Zeeman-like spin splitting. Further, we identify a new conserved quantity---charge-momentum parity---that prevents the opening of the topological gap by the supercurrent in a straight Josephson junction. We propose breaking this conservation law by adding a third superconductor, introducing a periodic potential, or making the junction zigzag-shaped. By comparing the topological phase diagrams and practical limitations of these systems we identify the zigzag-shaped junction as the most promising option.

Current status:
Editor-in-charge assigned

Author comments upon resubmission

Minor changes to address the referee report. See list of changes and referee reply for details.

List of changes

- Added remark and reference to explain why we take spin-orbit coupling to be zero in the proximitized regions.
- Added explanation of why our qualitative results are unaffected by the details of the supercurrent distribution in the zigzag geometry.
- Changed penetration depth from Al to Nb in the magnetic field estimate.

Submission & Refereeing History

Resubmission 1905.02725v3 on 11 September 2019
Submission 1905.02725v2 on 6 June 2019

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