Parity-preserving and magnetic field–resilient superconductivity in InSb nanowires with Sn shells

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Science  30 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6541, pp. 508-511
DOI: 10.1126/science.aba5211

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Move aside, aluminum

Some of the most promising schemes for quantum information processing involve superconductors. In addition to the established superconducting qubits, topological qubits may one day be realized in semiconductor-superconductor heterostructures. The superconductor most widely used in this context is aluminum, in which processes that cause decoherence are suppressed. Pendharkar et al. go beyond this paradigm to show that superconducting tin can be used in place of aluminum (see the Perspective by Fatemi and Devoret). The authors grew nanowires of indium antimonide, which is a semiconductor, and coated them with a thin layer of tin without using cumbersome epitaxial growth techniques. This process creates a well-defined, “hard” superconducting gap in the nanowires, which is a prerequisite for using them as the basis for a potential topological qubit.

Science, this issue p. 508; see also p. 464

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