Department Colloquium: "Spotting the Elusive Majorana Under the Microscope"

Wed, 12/09/2015 - 16:00 - 18:00
Ali Yazdani (Princeton University) Hosted by Eleni Katifori
Topological superconductors are a distinct form of matter that is predicted to host boundary Majorana fermions. The search for Majorana quasi-particles in condensed matter systems is motivated in part by their potential use as topological qubits to perform fault-tolerant computation aided by their non-Abelian characteristics. Recently, we have proposed a new patform for the realization of Majorana fermions in condensed matter, based on chains of magnetic atoms on the surface of a superconductor. This platform lends itself to measurements with the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) that can be used to directly visualize the Majorana edge modes with both high energy and spatial resolution. Using rather unique STM instrumentation, we have succeeded in creating this platform and have observed the predicted signatures of localized Majorana edge modes. I will describe our Majorana platform, the experiments to date, and the outlook for further experiments on Majorana fermions in condensed matter systems.

*Refreshments served @ 3:30pm, DRL 2nd Floor Faculty Lounge*