Realization of a minimal Kitaev chain in coupled quantum dots

Tom Dvir*, Guanzhong Wang, Nick van Loo, Chun Xiao Liu, Grzegorz P. Mazur, Alberto Bordin, Sebastiaan L.D. ten Haaf, David van Driel, Francesco Zatelli, Xiang Li, Filip K. Malinowski, Sasa Gazibegovic, Ghada Badawy, Erik P.A.M. Bakkers, Michael Wimmer, Leo P. Kouwenhoven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Majorana bound states constitute one of the simplest examples of emergent non-Abelian excitations in condensed matter physics. A toy model proposed by Kitaev shows that such states can arise at the ends of a spinless p-wave superconducting chain1. Practical proposals for its realization2,3 require coupling neighbouring quantum dots (QDs) in a chain through both electron tunnelling and crossed Andreev reflection4. Although both processes have been observed in semiconducting nanowires and carbon nanotubes5–8, crossed-Andreev interaction was neither easily tunable nor strong enough to induce coherent hybridization of dot states. Here we demonstrate the simultaneous presence of all necessary ingredients for an artificial Kitaev chain: two spin-polarized QDs in an InSb nanowire strongly coupled by both elastic co-tunnelling (ECT) and crossed Andreev reflection (CAR). We fine-tune this system to a sweet spot where a pair of poor man’s Majorana states is predicted to appear. At this sweet spot, the transport characteristics satisfy the theoretical predictions for such a system, including pairwise correlation, zero charge and stability against local perturbations. Although the simple system presented here can be scaled to simulate a full Kitaev chain with an emergent topological order, it can also be used imminently to explore relevant physics related to non-Abelian anyons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-450
Number of pages19
Issue number7948
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.

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