Publication
Nature
Paper

Evidence of topological superconductivity in planar Josephson junctions

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Abstract

Majorana zero modes—quasiparticle states localized at the boundaries of topological superconductors—are expected to be ideal building blocks for fault-tolerant quantum computing1,2. Several observations of zero-bias conductance peaks measured by tunnelling spectroscopy above a critical magnetic field have been reported as experimental indications of Majorana zero modes in superconductor–semiconductor nanowires3–8. On the other hand, two-dimensional systems offer the alternative approach of confining Majorana channels within planar Josephson junctions, in which the phase difference φ between the superconducting leads represents an additional tuning knob that is predicted to drive the system into the topological phase at lower magnetic fields than for a system without phase bias9,10. Here we report the observation of phase-dependent zero-bias conductance peaks measured by tunnelling spectroscopy at the end of Josephson junctions realized on a heterostructure consisting of aluminium on indium arsenide. Biasing the junction to φ ≈ π reduces the critical field at which the zero-bias peak appears, with respect to φ = 0. The phase and magnetic-field dependence of the zero-energy states is consistent with a model of Majorana zero modes in finite-size Josephson junctions. As well as providing experimental evidence of phase-tuned topological superconductivity, our devices are compatible with superconducting quantum electrodynamics architectures11 and are scalable to the complex geometries needed for topological quantum computing9,12,13.

Date

24 Apr 2019

Publication

Nature

Authors

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