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Interaction effects in topological superconducting wires supporting Majorana fermions

E. M. Stoudenmire, Jason Alicea, Oleg A. Starykh, and Matthew P.A. Fisher
Phys. Rev. B 84, 014503 – Published 14 July 2011
Physics logo See Synopsis: Majorana states thrive under interactions

Abstract

Among the broad spectrum of systems predicted to exhibit topological superconductivity and Majorana fermions, one-dimensional wires with strong spin-orbit coupling provide one of the most promising experimental candidates. Here we investigate the fate of the topological superconducting phase in such wires when repulsive interactions are present. Using a combination of density matrix renormalization group, bosonization, and Hartree–Fock techniques, we demonstrate that while interactions degrade the bulk gap—consistent with recent results of Gangadharaiah et al.—they also greatly expand the parameter range over which the topological phase arises. In particular, we show that with interactions this phase can be accessed over a broader chemical potential window, thereby leading to greater immunity against disorder-induced chemical potential fluctuations in the wire. We also suggest that in certain wires strong interactions may allow Majorana fermions to be generated without requiring a magnetic field.

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  • Received 4 May 2011

DOI:https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.84.014503

©2011 American Physical Society

Synopsis

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Majorana states thrive under interactions

Published 14 July 2011

Calculations show that Coulomb interactions can play a positive role in the hunt for Majorana fermions.

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Authors & Affiliations

E. M. Stoudenmire1, Jason Alicea1, Oleg A. Starykh2, and Matthew P.A. Fisher3

  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
  • 2Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA
  • 3Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA

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Issue

Vol. 84, Iss. 1 — 1 July 2011

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March 20, 2017

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The first workshop is titled “Physics Next: Materials Design and Discovery,” and will take place on May 15 -17, 2017. More information.

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