Higher-order topological superconductors

Event Dates: 

Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 12:00pm

CTQM Seminar Type: 

  • Related Seminar Series

Speaker Name(s): 

Yuxuan Wang

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Abstract, Event Details: 

Conventional topological superconductors are fully gapped in the bulk but host gapless Majorana modes on their boundaries. We instead focus on a new class of superconductors, second-order topological superconductors, that have gapped, topological surfaces and gapless Majorana modes instead on lower-dimensional boundaries, i.e., corners of a two-dimensional system or hinges for a three-dimensional system. Here we propose two general scenarios in which second-order topological superconductivity can be realized spontaneously with weak-pairing instabilities. First, we show that $p_x+ip_y$-wave pairing in a (doped) Dirac semimetal in two dimensions with four mirror symmetric Dirac nodes realizes second-order topological superconductivity. Second, we show that $p+id$ pairing on an ordinary spin-degenerate Fermi sruface realizes second-order topological superconductivity as well. In the latter case we find that the topological invariants describing the system can be written using simple formulae involving only the low-energy properties of the Fermi surfaces and superconducting pairing. In both cases we show that these exotic superconducting states can be intrinsically realized in a metallic system with electronic interactions. For the latter case we also show it can be induced by proximity effect in a superconducting heterostructure.