Majorana states in helical Shiba chains and ladders

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Abstract

Motivated by recent proposals to realize Majorana bound states in chains and arrays of magnetic atoms deposited on top of a superconductor, we study the topological properties of various chain structures, ladders, and two-dimensional arrangements exhibiting magnetic helices. We show that magnetic domain walls where the chirality of a magnetic helix is inverted support two protected Majorana states giving rise to a tunneling conductance peak twice the height of a single Majorana state. The topological properties of coupled chains exhibit nontrivial behavior as a function of the number of chains beyond the even-odd dichotomy expected from the simple Z2 nature of coupled Majorana states. In addition, it is possible that a ladder of two or more coupled chains exhibit Majorana edge states even when decoupled chains are trivial. We formulate a general criterion for the number of Majorana edge states in multichain ladders and discuss some experimental consequences of our findings.

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Original languageEnglish
Article number115109
Pages (from-to)1-7
JournalPhysical Review B
Volume89
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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