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Emergence and stability of Majorana fermions in proximity-coupled topological insulator nanowires Cook, Ashley M.


A finite-length topological insulator nanowire, proximity-coupled to an ordinary bulk s-wave superconductor and subject to a longitudinal applied magnetic field is shown to realize a one-dimensional topological superconductor with an unpaired Majorana fermion localized at each end of the nanowire. Here we also show that the unpaired Majorana fermions persist in this system for any value of the chemical potential inside the bulk band gap of order 300 meV in Bi₂Se₃ by computing the Majorana number. From this calculation, we also show that the unpaired Majorana fermions persist when the magnetic flux through the nanowire cross-section deviates significantly from half flux quantum. Lastly, we demonstrate that the unpaired Majorana fermions persist in strongly disordered wires with fluctuations in the on-site potential ranging in magnitude up to the size of the bulk band gap. These results suggest this solid-state system should exhibit unpaired Majorana fermions under accessible conditions likely important for experimental study or future applications.

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