Topological Superconductivity in Cu(x)Bi(2)Se(3)

Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Nov 18;107(21):217001. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.217001. Epub 2011 Nov 14.


A topological superconductor (TSC) is characterized by the topologically protected gapless surface state that is essentially an Andreev bound state consisting of Majorana fermions. While a TSC has not yet been discovered, the doped topological insulator Cu(x)Bi(2)Se(3), which superconducts below ∼3 K, has been predicted to possess a topological superconducting state. We report that the point-contact spectra on the cleaved surface of superconducting Cu(x)Bi(2)Se(3) present a zero-bias conductance peak (ZBCP) which signifies unconventional superconductivity. Theoretical considerations of all possible superconducting states help us conclude that this ZBCP is due to Majorana fermions and gives evidence for a topological superconductivity in Cu(x)Bi(2)Se(3). In addition, we found an unusual pseudogap that develops below ∼20 K and coexists with the topological superconducting state.