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Title

Non-hermitian topology as a unifying framework for the Andreev versus Majorana states controversy

AuthorsAvila, Jesús; Peñaranda, Fernando; Prada, Elsa ; San-José, Pablo ; Aguado, Ramón
KeywordsHybrid semiconductor-superconductor
Majorana states controversy
Zero-energy Andreev levels
Issue Date2019
PublisherNature Publishing Group
CitationCommunications Physics 2 (2019)
Abstract[EN] Zero-energy Andreev levels in hybrid semiconductor-superconductor nanowires mimic all expected Majorana phenomenology, including 2 e∕ h conductance quantisation, even where band topology predicts trivial phases. This surprising fact has been used to challenge the interpretation of various transport experiments in terms of Majorana zero modes. Here we show that the Andreev versus Majorana controversy is clarified when framed in the language of non-Hermitian topology, the natural description for quantum systems open to the environment. This change of paradigm allows one to understand topological transitions and the emergence of zero modes in more general systems than can be described by band topology. This is achieved by studying exceptional point bifurcations in the complex spectrum of the system’s non-Hermitian Hamiltonian. Within this broader topological classification, Majoranas from both conventional band topology and a large subset of Andreev levels at zero energy are in fact topologically equivalent, which explains why they cannot be distinguished.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42005-019-0231-8
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/210677
Identifiersdoi: 10.1038/s42005-019-0231-8
e-issn: 2399-3650
Appears in Collections:(ICMM) Artículos
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