Publications

2019
M. Trif and Simon, P., “Braiding of Majorana Fermions in a Cavity”, Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 122, p. 236803, 2019. Website
A. A. Zyuzin and Simon, P., “Disorder-induced exceptional points and nodal lines in Dirac superconductors”, Phys. Rev. B, vol. 99, p. 165145, 2019. Website
G. C. Ménard, et al., “Isolated pairs of Majorana zero modes in a disordered superconducting lead monolayer”, Nature Communications, vol. 10, p. 2587, 2019. WebsiteAbstract
Majorana zero modes are fractional quantum excitations appearing in pairs, each pair being a building block for quantum computation. Some signatures of Majorana zero modes have been reported at endpoints of one-dimensional systems, which are however required to be extremely clean. An alternative are two-dimensional topological superconductors, such as the Pb/Co/Si(111) system shown recently to be immune to local disorder. Here, we use scanning tunneling spectroscopy to characterize a disordered superconducting monolayer of Pb coupled to underlying Co-Si magnetic islands. We show that pairs of zero modes are stabilized: one zero mode positioned in the middle of the magnetic domain and its partner extended all around the domain. The zero mode pair is remarkably robust, isolated within a hard superconducting gap. Our theoretical scenario supports the protected Majorana nature of this zero mode pair, highlighting the role of magnetic or spin-orbit coupling textures.
M. Garnier, Mesaros, A., and Simon, P., “Topological superconductivity with deformable magnetic skyrmions”, Communications Physics, vol. 2, p. 126, 2019. WebsiteAbstract
Magnetic skyrmions are nanoscale spin configurations that are efficiently created and manipulated. They hold great promises for next-generation spintronics applications. In parallel, the interplay of magnetism, superconductivity and spin-orbit coupling has proved to be a versatile platform for engineering topological superconductivity predicted to host non-abelian excitations, Majorana zero modes. We show that topological superconductivity can be induced by proximitizing skyrmions and conventional superconductors, without need for additional ingredients. Apart from a previously reported Majorana zero mode in the core of the skyrmion, we find a more universal chiral band of Majorana modes on the edge of the skyrmion. We show that the chiral Majorana band is effectively flat in the physically relevant parameter regime, leading to interesting robustness and scaling properties. In particular, the number of Majorana modes in the (nearly-)flat band scales with the perimeter length of the system, while being robust to local disorder.
G. C. Ménard, et al., “Yu-Shiba-Rusinov bound states versus topological edge states in Pb/Si(111)”, The European Physical Journal Special Topics, vol. 227, p. 2303–2313, 2019. WebsiteAbstract
There is presently a tremendous activity around the field of topological superconductivity and Majorana fermions. Among the many questions raised, it has become increasingly important to establish the topological or non-topological origin of features associated with Majorana fermions such as zero-bias peaks. Here, we compare in-gap features associated either with isolated magnetic impurities or with magnetic clusters strongly coupled to the atomically thin superconductor Pb/Si(111). We study this system by means of scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM/STS). We take advantage of the fact that the Pb/Si(111) monolayer can exist either in a crystal-ordered phase or in an incommensurate disordered phase to compare the observed spectroscopic features in both phases. This allows us to demonstrate that the strongly resolved in-gap states we found around the magnetic clusters in the disordered phase of Pb have a clear topological origin.
2018
M. Trif, Dmytruk, O., Bouchiat, H., Aguado, R., and Simon, P., “Dynamic current susceptibility as a probe of Majorana bound states in nanowire-based Josephson junctions”, PHYSICAL REVIEW B, vol. 97, p. 041415, 2018.Abstract
We theoretically study a Josephson junction based on a semiconducting nanowire subject to a time-dependent flux bias. We establish a general density-matrix approach for the dynamical response of the Majorana junction and calculate the resulting flux-dependent susceptibility using both microscopic and effective low-energy descriptions for the nanowire. We find that the diagonal component of the susceptibility, associated with the dynamics of the Majorana state populations, dominates over the standard Kubo contribution for a wide range of experimentally relevant parameters. The diagonal term, explored, in this Rapid Communication, in the context of Majorana physics, allows probing accurately the presence of Majorana bound states in the junction.
M. Thakurathi, Simon, P., Mandal, I., Klinovaja, J., and Loss, D., “Majorana Kramers pairs in Rashba double nanowires with interactions and disorder”, PHYSICAL REVIEW B, vol. 97, p. 045415, 2018.Abstract
We analyze the effects of electron-electron interactions and disorder on a Rashba double-nanowire setup coupled to an s-wave superconductor, which has been recently proposed as a versatile platform to generate Kramers pairs of Majorana bound states in the absence of magnetic fields. We identify the regime of parameters for which these Kramers pairs are stable against interaction and disorder effects. We use bosonization, perturbative renormalization group, and replica techniques to derive the flow equations for various parameters of the model and evaluate the corresponding phase diagram with topological and disorder-dominated phases. We confirm aforementioned results by considering a more microscopic approach, which starts from the tunneling Hamiltonian between the three-dimensional s-wave superconductor and the nanowires. We find again that the interaction drives the system into the topological phase and, as the strength of the source term coming from the tunneling Hamiltonian increases, strong electron-electron interactions are required to reach the topological phase.
V. Kaladzhyan, Bena, C., and Simon, P., “Topology from triviality”, PHYSICAL REVIEW B, vol. 97, p. 104512, 2018.Abstract
We show that bringing into proximity two topologically trivial systems can give rise to a topological phase. More specifically, we study a 1D metallic nanowire proximitized by a 2D superconducting substrate with a mixed s-wave and p-wave pairing, and we demonstrate both analytically and numerically that the phase diagram of such a setup can be richer than reported before. Thus apart from the two ``expected{''} well-known phases (i.e., where the substrate and the wire are both simultaneously trivial or topological), we show that there exist two peculiar phases in which the nanowire can be in a topological regime while the substrate is trivial and vice versa.
B. Braunecker and Simon, P., “Tunneling spectroscopy between one-dimensional helical conductors”, PHYSICAL REVIEW B, vol. 98, p. 115146, 2018.Abstract
We theoretically investigate the tunneling spectroscopy of a system of two parallel one-dimensional helical conductors in the interacting, Luttinger liquid regime. We calculate the nonlinear differential conductance as a function of the voltage bias between the conductors and the orbital momentum shift induced on tunneling electrons by an orthogonal magnetic field. We show that the conductance map exhibits an interference pattern which is characteristic to the interacting helical liquid. This can be contrasted with the different interference pattern from tunneling between regular Luttinger liquids which is governed by the spin-charge separation of the elementary collective excitations.