State of the Search for Majorana Fermions in Semiconductor Nanowires


Jacobs Hall, Room 2512, Jacobs School of Engineering, 9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, San Diego, California 92093

Sponsored By:
Professor Shadi Dayeh

Sergey Frolov
Department of Physics
University of Pittsburgh
Sergey Frolov


Majorana fermions are non-trivial quantum excitations that have remarkable topological properties and can be used to protect quantum information against decoherence. Tunneling spectroscopy measurements on one-dimensional superconducting hybrid materials have revealed signatures of Majorana fermions which are the edge states of a bulk topological superconducting phase. We couple strong spin-orbit semiconductor InSb nanowires to conventional superconductors (NbTiN, Al) to obtain additional signatures of Majorana fermions and to explore the  topological phase transition. A potent alternative explanation for many of the recent experimental Majorana reports is that a non-topological Andreev state localizes near the end of a nanowire. We compare Andreev and Majorana modes and investigate ways to clearly distinguish the two phenomena. We are also exploring how Andreev states can be chained together along the nanowire to realize the one-dimensional Kitaev model, a discrete way of generating Majorana modes.

Speaker Bio:
Frolov is an Assitant Professor of Physics at the University of Pittsburgh specializing in the experimental investigation of quantum electronic devices. He received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and did postdoctoral work at the University of British Columbia and Delft University of Technology. Frolov’s work has impacted the fields of semiconductor spintronics and quantum computing. Frolov is a recipient of the AAAS Newcomb-Cleveland Prize, NSF CAREER Award, ONR Young Investigator Program, a Sloan Fellowship, a Cottrell Scholarship, and other prizes.

Cheryle Wills,