Probing vortex Majorana fermions and topology in semiconductor/superconductor heterostructures
2015 (English)In: Physical Review B. Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, ISSN 1098-0121, E-ISSN 1550-235X, Vol. 91, no 21, 214514Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We investigate the local density of states, spectral function, and superconducting pair amplitudes for signatures of Majorana fermions in vortex cores in ferromagnetic and spin-orbit coupled semiconductor/superconductor heterostructures. We show that the Majorana fermion quasiparticle momentum distribution is always symmetrically distributed at a finite radius around a high-symmetry point, thereby providing a necessary condition for a low-energy state to be a Majorana fermion. In real-space profiles of the local density of states through the vortex core the Majorana fermion, together with other finite-energy vortex states, forms a characteristic X-shape structure only present at nontrivial topology. Moreover, we find that the Mexican hat band structure property of the topologically nontrivial phase translates into multiple high-intensity band edges and also vortex core states located above the superconducting gap in the local density of states. Finally, we find no strong correlation between odd-frequency pairing and the appearance of Majorana fermions, but odd-frequency pairing exists as soon as ferromagnetism is present. In fact, we find that the only vortex superconducting pair amplitude directly related to any phase transition is the appearance of certain spin-triplet p-wave pairing components in the vortex core at a pre-topological vortex core widening transition.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 91, no 21, 214514
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-258333DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.91.214514ISI: 000356477400004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-258333DiVA: diva2:841834
FunderSwedish Research Council