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Supercurrent-induced Majorana bound states in a planar geometry

by André Melo, Sebastian Rubbert, Anton R. Akhmerov

This Submission thread is now published as

Submission summary

Authors (as registered SciPost users): Anton Akhmerov · André Melo
Submission information
Preprint Link:  (pdf)
Date accepted: 2019-09-16
Date submitted: 2019-09-11 02:00
Submitted by: Melo, André
Submitted to: SciPost Physics
Ontological classification
Academic field: Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics - Theory
Approach: Theoretical


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.

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.

Published as SciPost Phys. 7, 039 (2019)

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