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Martin Leijnse and Karsten Flensberg. “Introduction to Topological Superconductivity and Majorana Fermions.” Semiconductor Science and Technology 27, no. 12 (2012): 124003.

Introduction to Topological Superconductivity and Majorana Fermions

Any discussion of topological insulators is incomplete without even mentioning their appeal in the quantum computing community. After the prediction and discovery of topological insulators, there were several proposals, which exploited the circumvention of fermion doubling theorem on the boundary of a topological insulator, in order to “engineer” a p-wave superconductor. Not only is this exciting due to the lack of conclusive evidence of p-wave pairing symmetry in nature, but also due to the fact that this type of unconventional or “topological” superconductivity paves the way to topological quantum computation.

The above article is a very simple and pedagogical introduction to, as the name suggests, topological superconductivity and Majorana fermions. In addition to simplicity, the two strongest features of this paper are the discussion of the simplest possible toy model of a topological superconductor, namely the Kitaev model, as well as the discussion of its practical realization; i.e. the superconducting InSb nanowire experiment, which claimed the first observation of the Majorana zero mode, and consequently created ripples of excitement throughout the condensed matter community.

With the permission of the presenter, the slides for this journal club meeting can be found in the PDF file here. The PDF slides are only in the reading mode; they do not contain any animations. The original PowerPoint slides with animations can be found here. If you notice any typos or scientific inaccuracies in the slides, I would be grateful if you could bring them to my attention by sending me an email.