Topological superconductivity in a van der Waals heterostructure

Kezilebieke Shawulienu, Md Nurul Huda, Viliam Vano, Markus Aapro, Somesh Ganguli, Orlando Silveira Júnior, Szczepan Glodzik, Adam Foster, Teemu Ojanen, Peter Liljeroth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

228 Citations (Scopus)


Exotic states such as topological insulators, superconductors and quantum spin liquids are often challenging or impossible to create in a single material 1–3. For example, it is unclear whether topological superconductivity, which has been suggested to be a key ingredient for topological quantum computing, exists in any naturally occurring material 4–9. The problem can be circumvented by deliberately selecting the combination of materials in heterostructures so that the desired physics emerges from interactions between the different components 1,10–15. Here we use this designer approach to fabricate van der Waals heterostructures that combine a two-dimensional (2D) ferromagnet with a superconductor, and we observe 2D topological superconductivity in the system. We use molecular-beam epitaxy to grow 2D islands of ferromagnetic chromium tribromide 16 on superconducting niobium diselenide. We then use low-temperature scanning tunnelling microscopy and spectroscopy to reveal the signatures of one-dimensional Majorana edge modes. The fabricated 2D van der Waals heterostructure provides a high-quality, tunable system that can be readily integrated into device structures that use topological superconductivity. The layered heterostructures can be readily accessed by various external stimuli, potentially allowing external control of 2D topological superconductivity through electrical 17, mechanical 18, chemical 19 or optical means 20.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7838
Pages (from-to)424-428
Number of pages5
Issue number7838
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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