Hunting the elusive (quasi)particles

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Science  27 Feb 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6225, pp. 961
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6225.961-b

Majorana fermions, particles that are their own antiparticles, have not yet been observed in nature. There have, however, been several possible sightings of their counterparts in solid-state systems, which may eventually lead to advances in quantum computing. Xu et al. used scanning tunneling microscopy to observe signatures of these Majorana modes in a system consisting of a conventional superconductor with a topological insulator (TI) layer on top of it. The authors observed a distinct change of the experimental signal as the thickness of the TI layer crossed a threshold value, which they interpreted as evidence for the Majorana modes.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 017001 (2015).

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