Observation of a Majorana zero mode in a topologically protected edge channel

Superconducting proximity pairing in helical edge modes, such as those of topological insulators, is predicted to provide a unique platform for realizing Majorana zero modes (MZMs). We used scanning tunneling microscopy measurements to probe the influence of proximity-induced superconductivity and magnetism on the helical hinge states of bismuth(111) films grown on a superconducting niobium substrate and decorated with magnetic iron clusters. Consistent with model calculations, our measurements revealed the emergence of a localized MZM at the interface between the superconducting helical edge channel and the iron clusters, with a strong magnetization component along the edge. Our experiments also resolve the MZM’s spin signature, which distinguishes it from trivial in-gap states that may accidentally occur at zero energy in a superconductor. 

B. Jäck, Y. Xie, J. Li, S. Jeon, B. A. Bernevig, and A. Yazdani, "Observation of a Majorana zero mode in a topologically protected edge channel," Science 364,1255-1259 (2019).  Publisher's version  PDF
"Majorana Strikes Back" video: illustrates the Yazdani lab's recent results (to appear June 13, 2019 in Science) and how they used a “magnetic memory bit” to control Majorana fermions.

Featured on Discovery Research at Princeton
Featured on ScienceAlert
Featured on EurekAlert! (AAAS)
Featured on ScienceDaily
Featured on Physics.Org
Featured on Nanotechnology Now
Featured on Galileonet
Featured by Edgy Labs
Featured on LongRoom News