Amorphous topological superconductivity in a Shiba glass

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Abstract

Topological states of matter support quantised nondissipative responses and exotic quantum particles that cannot be accessed in common materials. The exceptional properties and application potential of topological materials have triggered a large-scale search for new realisations. Breaking away from the popular trend focusing almost exclusively on crystalline symmetries, we introduce the Shiba glass as a platform for amorphous topological quantum matter. This system consists of an ensemble of randomly distributed magnetic atoms on a superconducting surface. We show that subgap Yu-Shiba-Rusinov states on the magnetic moments form a topological superconducting phase at critical density despite a complete absence of spatial order. Experimental signatures of the amorphous topological state can be obtained by scanning tunnelling microscopy measurements probing the topological edge mode. Our discovery demonstrates the physical feasibility of amorphous topological quantum matter, presenting a concrete route to fabricating new topological systems from nontopological materials with random dopants.

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Original languageEnglish
Article number2103
Pages (from-to)1-5
JournalNature Communications
Volume9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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