Abstract: Semiconductor nanowires such as InAs and InSb provide a novel basis for low dimensional quantum devices. Following proposals to engineer Majorana bound states in these materials1,2, non-Abelian anyons relevant for topological quantum computing, evidence3 for such bound states was reported in highly disordered semiconductor-superconductor devices. However, the level of disorder did not preclude trivial origins to these observations and has motivated significant advances in semiconductor-superconductor devices in order to realize robust Majorana devices. In this talk, I will discuss how to engineer superconductivity in InSb nanowire devices and realize state of the art quantum transport features in hybrid semiconductor-superconductor devices. In particular, I will explain the development of epitaxial semiconductor-superconductor interfaces, which ensure uniform superconducting coupling to the nanowire and enable ballistic superconducting quantum wires to be realized in InSb. Lastly, I will discuss experiments in progress to study the transition from Andreev to Majorana bound states in ballistic InSb nanowire devices.
1. R. M. Lutchyn, J. D. Sau, and S. Das Sarma, Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 077001 (2010).
2. Y. Oreg, G. Refael, and F. von Oppen, Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 177002 (2010).
3. V. Mourik, K. Zuo, S. M. Frolov, S. R. Plissard, E. P. A. M. Bakkers, and L. P. Kouwenhoven, Science 336, 6084 (2012).