Zero-energy bound states in the high-temperature superconductors at the two-dimensional limit

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Science Advances  25 Mar 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 13, eaax7547
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax7547


Majorana zero modes (MZMs) that obey the non-Abelian statistics have been intensively investigated for potential applications in topological quantum computing. The prevailing signals in tunneling experiments “fingerprinting” the existence of MZMs are the zero-energy bound states (ZEBSs). However, nearly all of the previously reported ZEBSs showing signatures of the MZMs are observed in difficult-to-fabricate heterostructures at very low temperatures and additionally require applied magnetic field. Here, by using in situ scanning tunneling spectroscopy, we detect the ZEBSs upon the interstitial Fe adatoms deposited on two different high-temperature superconducting one-unit-cell iron chalcogenides on SrTiO3(001). The spectroscopic results resemble the phenomenological characteristics of the MZMs inside the vortex cores of topological superconductors. Our experimental findings may extend the MZM explorations in connate topological superconductors toward an applicable temperature regime and down to the two-dimensional (2D) limit.

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