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Manipulating Majorana fermions using supercurrents

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Article number020502
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>6/01/2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number2
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Topological insulator edges and spin-orbit-coupled quantum wires in proximity to s-wave superconductors can be tuned through a topological quantum phase transition by a Zeeman field. Here we show that a supercurrent flowing in the s-wave superconductor also drives such a transition. We propose to use this mechanism to generate and manipulate Majorana fermions that localize at domain walls between topological and nontopological regions of an edge or wire. In quantum wires, this method carries the added benefit that a supercurrent reduces the critical Zeeman field at which the topological phase appears.