Dynamical gate-tunable supercurrents in topological Josephson junctions

C. Kurter, A. D.K. Finck, P. Ghaemi, Y. S. Hor, D. J. Van Harlingen

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Abstract

Josephson junctions made of closely spaced conventional superconductors on the surface of three-dimensional topological insulators have been proposed to host Andreev bound states (ABSs), which can include Majorana fermions. Here, we present an extensive study of the supercurrent carried by low-energy ABSs in Nb/Bi2Se3/Nb Josephson junctions in various superconducting quantum interference devices as we modulate the carrier density in the Bi2Se3 barriers through electrostatic top gates. As previously reported, we find a precipitous drop in the Josephson current at a critical value of the voltage applied to the top gate. This drop has been attributed to a transition where the topologically trivial two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) at the surface is nearly depleted, causing a shift in the spatial location and a change in nature of the helical surface states. We present measurements that support this picture by revealing qualitative changes in the temperature and magnetic field dependence of the critical current across this transition. In particular, we observe pronounced fluctuations in the critical current near total depletion of the 2DEG that demonstrate the dynamical nature of the supercurrent transport through topological low-energy ABSs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number014501
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume90
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2014

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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