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Evidence for Majorana bound states in an iron-based superconductor

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Science  16 Aug 2018:
eaao1797
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao1797

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Abstract

The search for Majorana bound states (MBSs) has been fueled by the prospect of using their non-Abelian statistics for robust quantum computation. Two-dimensional superconducting topological materials have been predicted to host MBSs as zero-energy modes in vortex cores. By using scanning tunneling spectroscopy on the superconducting Dirac surface state of the iron-based superconductor FeTe0.55Se0.45, we observe a sharp zero-bias peak inside a vortex core that does not split when moving away from the vortex center. The evolution of the peak under varying magnetic field, temperature, and tunneling barrier is consistent with the tunneling to a nearly pure MBS, separated from non-topological bound states. This observation offers a potential platform for realizing and manipulating MBSs at a relatively high temperature.

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