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Majorana fermions in a tunable semiconductor device

Alicea, Jason (2010) Majorana fermions in a tunable semiconductor device. Physical Review B, 81 (12). Art. No. 125318. ISSN 1098-0121.

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The experimental realization of Majorana fermions presents an important problem due to their non-Abelian nature and potential exploitation for topological quantum computation. Very recently Sau et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 040502 (2010)] demonstrated that a topological superconducting phase supporting Majorana fermions can be realized using surprisingly conventional building blocks: a semiconductor quantum well coupled to an s-wave superconductor and a ferromagnetic insulator. Here we propose an alternative setup, wherein a topological superconducting phase is driven by applying an in-plane magnetic field to a (110)-grown semiconductor coupled only to an s-wave superconductor. This device offers a number of advantages, notably a simpler architecture and the ability to tune across a quantum phase transition into the topological superconducting state while still largely avoiding unwanted orbital effects. Experimental feasibility of both setups is discussed in some detail.

Item Type:Article
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Alicea, Jason0000-0001-9979-3423
Additional Information:© 2010 The American Physical Society. Received 16 December 2009; published 15 March 2010. It is a pleasure to acknowledge a number of stimulating discussions with D. Bergman, S. Das Sarma, J. Eisenstein, M. P. A. Fisher, S. Fujimoto, F. Kuemmeth, R. Lutchyn, O. Motrunich, G. Refael, J. D. Sau, and A. Stern. We also acknowledge support from the Lee A. DuBridge Foundation.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Lee A. DuBridge FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:12
Classification Code:PACS: 71.10.Pm, 03.67.Lx, 74.45.+c, 74.90.+n
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100513-142047300
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:18299
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:13 May 2010 22:07
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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