Magnetic-field-dependent quasiparticle dynamics of nanowire single-Cooper-pair transistors

Jasper Van Veen, Alex Proutski, Torsten Karzig, Dmitry I. Pikulin, Roman M. Lutchyn, Jesper Nygård, Peter Krogstrup, Attila Geresdi, Leo P. Kouwenhoven, John D. Watson

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Parity control of superconducting islands hosting Majorana zero modes (MZMs) is required to operate topological qubits made from proximitized semiconductor nanowires. We test this control by studying parity effects in hybrid InAs-Al single-Cooper-pair transistors (SCPTs) to evaluate the feasibility of this material system. In particular, we investigate the gate-charge modulation of the supercurrent and observe a consistent 2e-periodic pattern indicating a general lack of low-energy subgap states in these nanowires at zero magnetic field. In a parallel magnetic field, an even-odd pattern develops with a gate-charge spacing that oscillates as a function of field demonstrating that the modulation pattern is sensitive to the presence of a single bound state. In addition, we find that the parity lifetime of the SCPT decreases exponentially with magnetic field as the bound state approaches zero energy. Our work shows that aluminum is the preferred superconductor for future topological qubit experiments and highlights the important role that quasiparticle traps and superconducting gap engineering would play in these qubits. Moreover, we demonstrate a means by which bound states can be detected in devices with superconducting leads.

Original languageEnglish
Article number174502
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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