We show that a film of a semiconductor in which -wave superconductivity and Zeeman splitting are induced by the proximity effect, supports zero-energy Majorana fermion modes in the ordinary vortex excitations. Since time-reversal symmetry is explicitly broken, the edge of the film constitutes a chiral Majorana wire. The heterostructure we propose—a semiconducting thin film sandwiched between an -wave superconductor and a magnetic insulator—is a generic system which can be used as the platform for topological quantum computation by virtue of the existence of non-Abelian Majorana fermions.
- Received 17 July 2009
- Published 27 January 2010
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