Josephson supercurrent through a topological insulator surface state

M. Veldhorst, M. Snelder, M. Hoek, T. Gang, V. Goduru, X. Wang, U. Zeitler, Wilfred Gerard van der Wiel, H. Hilgenkamp, Alexander Brinkman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The long-sought yet elusive Majorana fermion(1) is predicted to arise from a combination of a superconductor and a topological insulator(2-4). An essential step in the hunt for this emergent particle is the unequivocal observation of supercurrent in a topological phase. Here, direct evidence for Josephson supercurrents in superconductor (Nb)-topological insulator (Bi2Te3)-superconductor electron-beam fabricated junctions is provided by the observation of clear Shapiro steps under microwave irradiation, and a Fraunhofer-type dependence of the critical current on magnetic field. Shubnikov-de Haas oscillations in magnetic fields up to 30 T reveal a topologically non-trivial two-dimensional surface state. This surface state is attributed to mediate the ballistic Josephson current despite the fact that the normal state transport is dominated by diffusive bulk conductivity. The lateral Nb-Bi2Te3-Nb junctions hence provide prospects for the realization of devices supporting Majorana fermions(5).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-421
Number of pages5
JournalNature materials
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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Surface states
Superconducting materials
Fermions
insulators
fermions
Magnetic fields
Microwave irradiation
Critical currents
Ballistics
magnetic fields
ballistics
Electron beams
critical current
electron beams
microwaves
conductivity
oscillations
irradiation

Keywords

  • METIS-286919
  • IR-83573

Cite this

Veldhorst, M., Snelder, M., Hoek, M., Gang, T., Goduru, V., Wang, X., ... Brinkman, A. (2012). Josephson supercurrent through a topological insulator surface state. Nature materials, 11(5), 417-421. https://doi.org/10.1038/NMAT3255
Veldhorst, M. ; Snelder, M. ; Hoek, M. ; Gang, T. ; Goduru, V. ; Wang, X. ; Zeitler, U. ; van der Wiel, Wilfred Gerard ; Hilgenkamp, H. ; Brinkman, Alexander. / Josephson supercurrent through a topological insulator surface state. In: Nature materials. 2012 ; Vol. 11, No. 5. pp. 417-421.
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Veldhorst, M, Snelder, M, Hoek, M, Gang, T, Goduru, V, Wang, X, Zeitler, U, van der Wiel, WG, Hilgenkamp, H & Brinkman, A 2012, 'Josephson supercurrent through a topological insulator surface state' Nature materials, vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 417-421. https://doi.org/10.1038/NMAT3255

Josephson supercurrent through a topological insulator surface state. / Veldhorst, M.; Snelder, M.; Hoek, M.; Gang, T.; Goduru, V.; Wang, X.; Zeitler, U.; van der Wiel, Wilfred Gerard; Hilgenkamp, H.; Brinkman, Alexander.

In: Nature materials, Vol. 11, No. 5, 2012, p. 417-421.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - Josephson supercurrent through a topological insulator surface state

AU - Veldhorst, M.

AU - Snelder, M.

AU - Hoek, M.

AU - Gang, T.

AU - Goduru, V.

AU - Wang, X.

AU - Zeitler, U.

AU - van der Wiel, Wilfred Gerard

AU - Hilgenkamp, H.

AU - Brinkman, Alexander

PY - 2012

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AB - The long-sought yet elusive Majorana fermion(1) is predicted to arise from a combination of a superconductor and a topological insulator(2-4). An essential step in the hunt for this emergent particle is the unequivocal observation of supercurrent in a topological phase. Here, direct evidence for Josephson supercurrents in superconductor (Nb)-topological insulator (Bi2Te3)-superconductor electron-beam fabricated junctions is provided by the observation of clear Shapiro steps under microwave irradiation, and a Fraunhofer-type dependence of the critical current on magnetic field. Shubnikov-de Haas oscillations in magnetic fields up to 30 T reveal a topologically non-trivial two-dimensional surface state. This surface state is attributed to mediate the ballistic Josephson current despite the fact that the normal state transport is dominated by diffusive bulk conductivity. The lateral Nb-Bi2Te3-Nb junctions hence provide prospects for the realization of devices supporting Majorana fermions(5).

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Veldhorst M, Snelder M, Hoek M, Gang T, Goduru V, Wang X et al. Josephson supercurrent through a topological insulator surface state. Nature materials. 2012;11(5):417-421. https://doi.org/10.1038/NMAT3255