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  1. 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.
  2. The controlled tunability of superconductivity in low-dimensional materials may enable new quantum devices. Particularly in triplet or topological superconductors, tunneling devices such as Josephson junctions, etc., can demonstrate exotic functionalities. The tunnel barrier, an insulating or normal material layer separating two superconductors, is a key component for the junctions. Thin layers of NbSe2 have been shown as a superconductor with strong spin orbit coupling, which can give rise to topological superconductivity if driven by a large magnetic exchange field. Here we demonstrate the superconductor−insulator transitions in epitaxially grown few-layer NbSe2 with wafer-scale uniformity on insulating substrates. We provide the electrical transport, Raman spectroscopy, cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction characterizations of the insulating phase. We show that the superconductor−insulator transition is driven by strain, which also causes characteristic energy shifts of the Raman modes. Our observation paves the way for high-quality heterojunction tunnel barriers to be seamlessly built into epitaxial NbSe2 itself, thereby enabling highly scalable tunneling devices for superconductor-based quantum electronics.
  3. 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.