Spectroscopic evidence of chiral Majorana modes in a quantum anomalous Hall insulator / superconductor heterostructure

Junying Shen, Jian Lyu, Jason Zheshen Gao, Chui-Zhen Chen, Chang-woo Cho, Lei Pan, Zhijie Chen, Kai Liu, Y. J. Hu, K. Y. Yip, S. K. Goh, Qing Lin He, Kang L. Wang, Kam Tuen Law, and Rolf Lortz

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Oct 10, 2018
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Received Date: 25th September 2018

Topological superconductors are in the focus of research because of their high potential for future applications of quantum computation. With the recent discovery of the quantum anomalous Hall insulator (QAHI), which exhibits the conductive quantum Hall edge states without external magnetic field, it becomes possible to create a novel topological superconductor by introducing superconductivity into these edge states. In this case, two distinct topological superconducting phases with one or two chiral Majorana edge modes formed, characterized by Chern numbers (N ) of 1 and 2, respectively. Recent experiments on a QAHI / superconductor (SC) heterostructure revealed the presence of integer and half-integer quantized plateaus in the conductance over a deposited SC strip and presented the quantization evidence of these states. However, these results also provoked a few controversies and thus additional direct evidence of a superconducting origin is urgently needed. We provided spectroscopic evidence for a superconducting QAHI state using nano-point contacts at the edge of a QAHI / SC heterostructure and obtained unique signatures of these two different topological superconducting phases. The phase with N = ±1 with a 2e^2/h conduction signature occurs in a narrow field regime during the QAHI magnetization reversal just before the QAHI enters the trivial insulating state. These results are consistent with theoretical analysis and further reaffirm the previous result of ½ quantization due to Majorana fermion.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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