Semiconductor nanowires are ideal for realizing various low-dimensional quantum devices. In particular, topological phases of matter hosting non-Abelian quasiparticles (such as anyons) can emerge when a semiconductor nanowire with strong spin-orbit coupling is brought into contact with a superconductor. To exploit the potential of non-Abelian anyons - which are key elements of topological quantum computing - fully, they need to be exchanged in a well-controlled braiding operation. Essential hardware for braiding is a network of crystalline nanowires coupled to superconducting islands. Here we demonstrate a technique for generic bottom-up synthesis of complex quantum devices with a special focus on nanowire networks with a predefined number of superconducting islands. Structural analysis confirms the high crystalline quality of the nanowire junctions, as well as an epitaxial superconductor-semiconductor interface. Quantum transport measurements of nanowire 'hashtags' reveal Aharonov-Bohm and weak-antilocalization effects, indicating a phase-coherent system with strong spin-orbit coupling. In addition, a proximity-induced hard superconducting gap (with vanishing sub-gap conductance) is demonstrated in these hybrid superconductor-semiconductor nanowires, highlighting the successful materials development necessary for a first braiding experiment. Our approach opens up new avenues for the realization of epitaxial three-dimensional quantum architectures which have the potential to become key components of various quantum devices.
- Topological matter