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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: (pdf)
Date accepted: 2019-09-16
Date submitted: 2019-09-11 02:00
Submitted by: Melo, André
Submitted to: SciPost Physics
Discipline: Physics
Subject area: 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.

Ontology / Topics

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Josephson junction Majorana bound states Topological phase transitions

Published as SciPost Phys. 7, 039 (2019)

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

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Resubmission 1905.02725v3 on 11 September 2019

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