Exploiting the peculiar properties of proximity-induced superconductivity on the surface of a topological insulator, we propose a device, which allows the creation of a Majorana fermion inside the core of a pinned Abrikosov vortex. The relevant Bogolyubov-de Gennes equations are studied analytically. We demonstrate that in this system the zero-energy Majorana-fermion state is separated by a large energy gap, of the order of the zero-temperature superconducting gap Δ, from a band of single-particle nontopological excitations. In other words, the Majorana fermion remains robust against thermal fluctuations, as long as the temperature remains substantially lower than the critical superconducting temperature. Experimentally, the Majorana state may be detected by measuring the tunneling differential conductance at the center of the Abrikosov vortex. In such an experiment, the Majorana state manifests itself as a zero-bias anomaly separated by a gap, of the order of Δ, from the contributions of the nontopological excitations.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 12 Aug 2011|