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Drouhin, Henri-Jean M. ; Wegrowe, Jean-Eric ; Razeghi, Manijeh (Ed.)Majorana zero modes (MZMs) are expected to emerge in material heterostructures combining superconductivity, ferromagnetism, and spin-orbit coupling (SOC). Particularly, inducing superconductivity and magnetic exchange interactions in well-defined Shockley surface states (SS) of high quality ultrathin Au(111) layers, which intrinsically have strong SOC, has been predicted as an excellent platform for MBS. In this talk, our success in creating such heterostructure in epitaxially grown Au(111) heterostructures will be presented. Signatures of superconductivity induced in the two-dimensional SS of Au(111) thin film are observed by means of electron tunneling spectroscopy. The behavior of such superconducting state under a planar Zeeman field will be shown. Evidence of a pair of MZMs in a fabricated Au(111) nanowire system will be demonstrated.
Under certain conditions, a fermion in a superconductor can separate in space into two parts known as Majorana zero modes, which are immune to decoherence from local noise sources and are attractive building blocks for quantum computers. Promising experimental progress has been made to demonstrate Majorana zero modes in materials with strong spin–orbit coupling proximity coupled to superconductors. Here we report signatures of Majorana zero modes in a material platform utilizing the surface states of gold. Using scanning tunneling microscope to probe EuS islands grown on top of gold nanowires, we observe two well-separated zero-bias tunneling conductance peaks aligned along the direction of the applied magnetic field, as expected for a pair of Majorana zero modes. This platform has the advantage of having a robust energy scale and the possibility of realizing complex designs using lithographic methods.