Near-zero-energy end states in topologically trivial spin-orbit coupled superconducting nanowires with a smooth confinement

G. Kells, D. Meidan, P. W. Brouwer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

291 Scopus citations

Abstract

A one-dimensional spin-orbit coupled nanowire with proximity-induced pairing from a nearby s-wave superconductor may be in a topological nontrivial state, in which it has a zero-energy Majorana bound state at each end. We find that the topological trivial phase may have fermionic end states with an exponentially small energy, if the confinement potential at the wire's ends is smooth. The possible existence of such near-zero-energy levels implies that the mere observation of a zero-bias peak in the tunneling conductance is not an exclusive signature of a topological superconducting phase, even in the ideal clean single channel limit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100503.1-100503.5
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume86
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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