We study the conditions for the existence of unpaired Majorana modes at the ends of vortex lines or the side edges of a layered topological superconductor. We show that the problem is mapped to that of a general Majorana chain and extend Kitaev's condition for the existence of its nontrivial phase by providing an additional condition when a supercurrent flows in the chain. Unpaired Majorana bound states may exist in a vortex line that threads the layers if the spin-orbit coupling has certain in-layer components but, interestingly, only if a nonzero supercurrent is maintained along the vortex. We discuss the exchange statistics of vortices in the presence of unpaired Majorana modes and comment on their experimental detection.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|State||Published - 31 May 2011|