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Andreev spectrum and supercurrents in nanowire-based SNS junctions containing Majorana bound states
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Materials Theory.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Materials Theory.
Univ Autonoma Madrid, Dept Fis Mat Condensada, Condensed Matter Phys Ctr IFIMAC, E-28049 Madrid, Spain;Univ Autonoma Madrid, Inst Nicolas Cabrera, E-28049 Madrid, Spain.
CSIC, ICMM, Madrid 28049, Spain.
2018 (English)In: Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology, ISSN 2190-4286, Vol. 9, p. 1339-1357Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Hybrid superconductor-semiconductor nanowires with Rashba spin-orbit coupling are arguably becoming the leading platform for the search of Majorana bound states (MBSs) in engineered topological superconductors. We perform a systematic numerical study of the low-energy Andreev spectrum and supercurrents in short and long superconductor-normal-superconductor junctions made of nanowires with strong Rashba spin-orbit coupling, where an external Zeeman field is applied perpendicular to the spin-orbit axis. In particular, we investigate the detailed evolution of the Andreev bound states from the trivial into the topological phase and their relation with the emergence of MBSs. Due to the finite length, the system hosts four MBSs, two at the inner part of the junction and two at the outer one. They hybridize and give rise to a finite energy splitting at a superconducting phase difference of p, a wellvisible effect that can be traced back to the evolution of the energy spectrum with the Zeeman field: from the trivial phase with Andreev bound states into the topological phase with MBSs. Similarly, we carry out a detailed study of supercurrents for short and long junctions from the trivial to the topological phases. The supercurrent, calculated from the Andreev spectrum, is 2 pi-periodic in the trivial and topological phases. In the latter it exhibits a clear sawtooth profile at a phase difference of pi when the energy splitting is negligible, signalling a strong dependence of current-phase curves on the length of the superconducting regions. Effects of temperature, scalar disorder and reduction of normal transmission on supercurrents are also discussed. Further, we identify the individual contribution of MBSs. In short junctions the MBSs determine the current-phase curves, while in long junctions the spectrum above the gap (quasi-continuum) introduces an important contribution.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BEILSTEIN-INSTITUT , 2018. Vol. 9, p. 1339-1357
Keywords [en]
hybrid superconductor-semiconductor nanowire-superconductor junctions, Josephson effect, Majorana bound states, nanowires, spin-orbit coupling, Zeeman interaction
National Category
Condensed Matter Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-356396DOI: 10.3762/bjnano.9.127ISI: 000431383200001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-356396DiVA, id: diva2:1235428
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilSwedish Foundation for Strategic Research Knut and Alice Wallenberg FoundationAvailable from: 2018-07-25 Created: 2018-07-25 Last updated: 2018-07-25Bibliographically approved

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