#### Abstract

We consider quasi-one-dimensional Ruderman-Kittel-Kasuya-Yosida (RKKY) systems in proximity to an $s$-wave superconductor. We show that a $2{k}_{F}$ peak in the spin susceptibility of the superconductor in the one-dimensional limit supports helical order of localized magnetic moments via RKKY interaction, where ${k}_{F}$ is the Fermi wave vector. The magnetic helix is equivalent to a uniform magnetic field and very strong spin-orbit interaction (SOI) with an effective SOI length $1/2{k}_{F}$. We find the conditions to establish such a magnetic state in atomic chains and semiconducting nanowires with magnetic atoms or nuclear spins. Generically, these systems are in a topological phase with Majorana fermions. The inherent self-tuning of the helix to $2{k}_{F}$ eliminates the need to tune the chemical potential.

- Received 4 July 2013

DOI:https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.186805

© 2013 American Physical Society