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Universal transport signatures of Majorana fermions in superconductor-Luttinger liquid junctions

Fidkowski, Lukasz and Alicea, Jason and Lindner, Netanel H. and Lutchyn, Roman M. and Fisher, Matthew P. A. (2012) Universal transport signatures of Majorana fermions in superconductor-Luttinger liquid junctions. Physical Review B, 85 (24). Art. No. 245121. ISSN 1098-0121. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.85.245121.

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One of the most promising proposals for engineering topological superconductivity and Majorana fermions employs a spin-orbit coupled nanowire subjected to a magnetic field and proximate to an s-wave superconductor. When only part of the wire's length contacts to the superconductor, the remaining conducting portion serves as a natural lead that can be used to probe these Majorana modes via tunneling. The enhanced role of interactions in one dimension dictates that this configuration should be viewed as a superconductor-Luttinger liquid junction. We investigate such junctions between both helical and spinful Luttinger liquids, and topological as well as nontopological superconductors. We determine the phase diagram for each case and show that universal low-energy transport in these systems is governed by fixed points describing either perfect normal reflection or perfect Andreev reflection. In addition to capturing (in some instances) the familiar Majorana-mediated “zero-bias anomaly” in a new framework, we show that interactions yield dramatic consequences in certain regimes. Indeed, we establish that strong repulsion removes this conductance anomaly altogether while strong attraction produces dynamically generated effective Majorana modes even in a junction with a trivial superconductor. Interactions further lead to striking signatures in the local density of states and the line shape of the conductance peak at finite voltage, and also are essential for establishing smoking-gun transport signatures of Majorana fermions in spinful Luttinger liquid junctions.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle Paper
Alicea, Jason0000-0001-9979-3423
Lindner, Netanel H.0000-0003-1879-3902
Lutchyn, Roman M.0000-0002-0222-9728
Additional Information:© 2012 American Physical Society. Received 26 March 2012; published 19 June 2012. It is a pleasure to thank Paul Fendley for stimulating discussions in early stages of this work. We gratefully acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation through grants DMR-1055522 (J.A.), PHY-0803371 (N.H.L.), and DMR-1101912 (M.P.A.F.). M.P.A.F. also acknowledges funding provided by the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter at the California Institute of Technology, an NSF Physics Frontiers Center. N.H.L. acknowledges support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through Caltech’s Center for the Physics of Information. We would like to thank the Aspen Center for Physics as well, where some of this work was initiated.
Group:Institute for Quantum Information and Matter
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM)UNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Center for the Physics of Information, CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:24
Classification Code:PACS: 03.65.Vf, 74.45.+c, 74.20.Mn
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120716-103347564
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:32469
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Jul 2012 18:07
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 21:27

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