Topological Superconductivity and Majorana Fermions in RKKY Systems

Jelena Klinovaja, Peter Stano, Ali Yazdani, and Daniel Loss
Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 186805 – Published 1 November 2013
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We consider quasi-one-dimensional Ruderman-Kittel-Kasuya-Yosida (RKKY) systems in proximity to an s-wave superconductor. We show that a 2kF peak in the spin susceptibility of the superconductor in the one-dimensional limit supports helical order of localized magnetic moments via RKKY interaction, where kF 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 1/2kF. 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 2kF eliminates the need to tune the chemical potential.

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  • Received 4 July 2013


© 2013 American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Jelena Klinovaja1,2, Peter Stano1,3, Ali Yazdani4, and Daniel Loss1

  • 1Department of Physics, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 82, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland
  • 2Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA
  • 3Institute of Physics, Slovak Academy of Sciences, 845 11 Bratislava, Slovakia
  • 4Joseph Henry Laboratories and Department of Physics, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA

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Vol. 111, Iss. 18 — 1 November 2013

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Heating up of Superconductors
January 27, 2017

This collection marks the 30th anniversary of the discovery of high-temperature superconductors. The papers selected highlight some of the advances that have been made to date, both in understanding why these compounds behave in the way they do, and in utilizing them in applications. The papers included in the collection have been made free to read.

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