Observability of surface Andreev bound states in a topological insulator in proximity to an s-wave superconductor

M. Snelder, A.A. Golubov, Y. Asano, A. Brinkman

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To guide experimental work on the search for Majorana zero-energy modes, we calculate the superconducting pairing symmetry of a three-dimensional topological insulator in combination with an s-wave superconductor. We show how the pairing symmetry changes across different topological regimes. We demonstrate that a dominant p-wave pairing relation is not sufficient to realise a Majorana zero-energy mode useful for quantum computation. Our main result is the relation between odd-frequency pairing and Majorana zero energy modes by using Green functions techniques in three-dimensional topological insulators in the so-called Majorana regime. We discuss thereafter how the pairing relations in the different regimes can be observed in the tunneling conductance of an s-wave proximised three-dimensional topological insulator. We discuss the necessity to incorporate a ferromagnetic insulator to localise the zero-energy bound state to the interface as a Majorana mode.

Original languageEnglish
Article number315701
JournalJournal of physics: Condensed matter
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2015


  • Bound states
  • Conductance spectra
  • Green functions
  • Odd-frequency
  • Proximised superconductivity
  • Topological insulator
  • Topological regimes


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