PhD Defense: Malcolm Jardine

July 14, 2023 - 10:30am

Majorana Zero Modes: Investigating Implementations Of Nanowire/superconductor Setups

Majorana zero modes (MZMs) are expected to appear in semiconductor-nanowire/superconductor systems. MZMs are interesting due to their potential use as fault-tolerant qubits in topological quantum computing.

One way experimentally probe MZMs is to apply an external magnetic field to semiconductor nanowires coated with superconducting shells. Some open questions include how to best supply the magnetic field and the nature of the physics at the interface of the nanowire/superconductor system. In this thesis, I present two different projects to help answer these questions. First, I consider device concepts in which micro-magnets generate stray magnetic fields and then apply them to a MZM model. Second, I consider how to moderate the coupling between the semiconductor and superconductor, as overly strong coupling leads to a "metalization" of the semiconductor making it inaccessible to MZMs. We propose this coupling could be modulated with a barrier. We apply density functional theory, which allows us access to the electronic properties of the relevant systems, to simulate the effect of using a barrier in the InSb/CdTe/α-Sn trilayer structure.

Location and Address

321 Allen Hall & Zoom
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