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Disorder-induced half-integer quantized conductance plateau in quantum anomalous Hall insulator-superconductor structures

TitleDisorder-induced half-integer quantized conductance plateau in quantum anomalous Hall insulator-superconductor structures
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsY. Huang, F.. Setiawan, and J. D. Sau
JournalPHYSICAL REVIEW B
Volume97
Pagination100501
Date PublishedMAR 9
Type of ArticleArticle
ISSN2469-9950
Abstract

A weak superconducting proximity effect in the vicinity of the topological transition of a quantum anomalous Hall system has been proposed as a venue to realize a topological superconductor (TSC) with chiral Majorana edge modes (CMEMs). A recent experiment {[}Science 357, 294 (2017)] claimed to have observed such CMEMs in the form of a half-integer quantized conductance plateau in the two-terminal transport measurement of a quantum anomalous Hall-superconductor junction. Although the presence of a superconducting proximity effect generically splits the quantum Hall transition into two phase transitions with a gapped TSC in between, in this Rapid Communication we propose that a nearly flat conductance plateau, similar to that expected from CMEMs, can also arise from the percolation of quantum Hall edges well before the onset of the TSC or at temperatures much above the TSC gap. Our Rapid Communication, therefore, suggests that, in order to confirm the TSC, it is necessary to supplement the observation of the half-quantized conductance plateau with a hard superconducting gap (which is unlikely for a disordered system) from the conductance measurements or the heat transport measurement of the transport gap. Alternatively, the half-quantized thermal conductance would also serve as a smoking-gun signature of the TSC.}, %%Address = {ONE PHYSICS ELLIPSE, COLLEGE PK, MD 20740-3844 USA

DOI10.1103/PhysRevB.97.100501