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Minimal Zeeman field requirement for a topological transition in superconductors

by Kim Pöyhönen, Daniel Varjas, Michael Wimmer, Anton R. Akhmerov

This Submission thread is now published as SciPost Phys. 10, 108 (2021)

Submission summary

As Contributors: Anton Akhmerov · Kim Pöyhönen · Daniel Varjas · Michael Wimmer
Arxiv Link: (pdf)
Code repository:
Date accepted: 2021-05-07
Date submitted: 2021-03-02 13:32
Submitted by: Pöyhönen, Kim
Submitted to: SciPost Physics
Academic field: Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics - Theory
Approach: Theoretical


Platforms for creating Majorana quasiparticles rely on superconductivity and breaking of time-reversal symmetry. By studying continuous deformations to known trivial states, we find that the relationship between superconducting pairing and time reversal breaking imposes rigorous bounds on the topology of the system. Applying these bounds to $s$-wave systems with a Zeeman field, we conclude that a topological phase transition requires that the Zeeman energy at least locally exceed the superconducting pairing by the energy gap of the full Hamiltonian. Our results are independent of the geometry and dimensionality of the system.

Published as SciPost Phys. 10, 108 (2021)

Author comments upon resubmission

Dear editor,

We have reviewed and addressed the referee evaluations. We thank both referees for their feedback. The first referee considers the main results of our work not new. This is an unfortunate misunderstanding of our paper, as also seen from the report by the second referee and the references to our work in the recent literature. In the resubmitted version we have rewritten the introduction to clearer present the physics problem we have addressed, and we have clearly stated the new results. We expect that together with our response to the referee, this will be sufficient to change the referee's opinion.

List of changes

Extended the introduction and section 4 to clarify physical motivation; included a schematic figure. Expanded the Conclusions section to better detail some of the implications of the manuscript.

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