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.