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Ballistic superconductivity in semiconductor nanowires

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Author: Zhang, H. · Gül, Ö. · Conesa-Boj, S. · Nowak, M.P. · Wimmer, M. · Zuo, K. · Mourik, V. · Vries, F.K. de · Veen, J. van · Moor, M.W.A. de · Bommer, J.D.S. · Woerkom, D.J. van · Car, D. · Plissard, S.R. · Bakkers, E.P.A.M. · Quintero Pérez, M. · Cassidy, M.C. · Koelling, S. · Goswami, S. · Watanabe, K. · Taniguchi, T. · Kouwenhoven, L.P.
Type:article
Date:2017
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Source:Nature Communications, 8
Identifier: 777384
Article number: 16025
Keywords: Nanotechnology · High Tech Systems & Materials · Industrial Innovation · Nano Technology · NI - Nano Instrumentation · TS - Technical Sciences

Abstract

Semiconductor nanowires have opened new research avenues in quantum transport owing to their confined geometry and electrostatic tunability. They have offered an exceptional testbed for superconductivity, leading to the realization of hybrid systems combining the macroscopic quantum properties of superconductors with the possibility to control charges down to a single electron. These advances brought semiconductor nanowires to the forefront of efforts to realize topological superconductivity and Majorana modes. A prime challenge to benefit from the topological properties of Majoranas is to reduce the disorder in hybrid nanowire devices. Here we show ballistic superconductivity in InSb semiconductor nanowires. Our structural and chemical analyses demonstrate a high-quality interface between the nanowire and a NbTiN superconductor that enables ballistic transport. This is manifested by a quantized conductance for normal carriers, a strongly enhanced conductance for Andreev-reflecting carriers, and an induced hard gap with a significantly reduced density of states. These results pave the way for disorder-free Majorana devices.