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Delocalized states in three-terminal superconductor-semiconductor nanowire devices

P. Yu, B. D. Woods, J. Chen, G. Badawy, E. P. A. M. Bakkers, T. D. Stanescu, S. M. Frolov

SciPost Phys. 15, 005 (2023) · published 11 July 2023


We fabricate three-terminal hybrid devices consisting of a semiconductor nanowire segment proximitized by a grounded superconductor and having tunnel probe contacts on both sides. By performing simultaneous tunneling measurements, we identify delocalized states, which can be observed from both ends, and states localized near one of the tunnel barriers. The delocalized states can be traced from zero magnetic field to fields beyond 0.5 T. Within the regime that supports delocalized states, we search for correlated low-energy features consistent with the presence of Majorana zero modes. While both sides of the device exhibit ubiquitous low-energy features at high fields, no correlation is inferred. Simulations using a one-dimensional effective model suggest that the delocalized states, which extend throughout the whole system, have large characteristic wave vectors, while the lower momentum states expected to give rise to Majorana physics are localized by disorder. To avoid such localization and realize Majorana zero modes, disorder needs to be reduced significantly. We propose a method for estimating the disorder strength based on analyzing the level spacing between delocalized states.

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