Generic new platform for topological quantum computation using semiconductor heterostructures

Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Jan 29;104(4):040502. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.040502. Epub 2010 Jan 27.


We show that a film of a semiconductor in which s-wave superconductivity and Zeeman splitting are induced by the proximity effect, supports zero-energy Majorana fermion modes in the ordinary vortex excitations. Since time-reversal symmetry is explicitly broken, the edge of the film constitutes a chiral Majorana wire. The heterostructure we propose-a semiconducting thin film sandwiched between an s-wave superconductor and a magnetic insulator-is a generic system which can be used as the platform for topological quantum computation by virtue of the existence of non-Abelian Majorana fermions.