Andreev molecules in semiconductor nanowire double quantum dots

Su, Zhaoen and Tacla, Alexandre B. and Hocevar, Moïra and Car, Diana and Plissard, Sébastien R. and Bakkers, Erik P. A. M. and Daley, Andrew J. and Pekker, David and Frolov, Sergey M. (2017) Andreev molecules in semiconductor nanowire double quantum dots. Nature Communications, 8. ISSN 2041-1723

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    Abstract

    Quantum simulation is a way to study unexplored Hamiltonians by mapping them onto the assemblies of well-understood quantum systems 1 such as ultracold atoms in optical lattices 2 , trapped ions 3 or superconducting circuits 4 . Semiconductor nanostructures which form the backbone of classical computing hold largely untapped potential for quantum simulation 5–7. In particular, chains of quantum dots in semiconductor nanowires can be used to emulate one-dimensional Hamiltonians such as the toy model of a topological p-wave superconductor 8–11 . Here we realize a building block of this model, a double quantum dot with superconducting 1 contacts, in an indium antimonide nanowire 12 . In each dot, tunnel-coupling to a superconductor induces Andreev bound states 13–19 . We demonstrate that these states hybridize to form the double-dot Andreev molecular states. We establish the parity and the spin structure of Andreev molecular levels by monitoring their evolution in electrostatic potential and magnetic field. Understanding Andreev molecules is a key step towards building longer chains which are predicted to generate Majorana bound states at the end sites 20, 21 . Two supercon ducting quantum dots are already sufficient to test the fusion rules of Majorana bound states, a milestone towards fault-tolerant topological quantum computing.