Andreev conversion in the quantum Hall regime

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2022

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Abstract

High quality type-II superconducting contacts have recently been developed for a variety of 2D systems, allowing one to explore superconducting proximity in the quantum Hall (QH) regime, which is one of the routes for creating exotic topological states and excitations. Here, we experimentally explore an interface between two prototypical phases of electrons with conceptually different ground states: the integer quantum Hall insulator and the s-wave superconductor. We find clear signatures of hybridized electron and hole states similar to chiral Majorana fermions, which we refer to as chiral Andreev edge states (CAES). They propagate along the interface in the direction determined by magnetic field and their interference can turn an incoming electron into an outgoing electron or a hole, depending on the phase accumulated by the CAES along their paths. However, the observed signals are small in comparison to theoretical predictions which calls for a better understanding of the limitations imposed by the physics of real materials. We then perform a systematic study of Andreev conversion in the QH regime. We find that the probability of Andreev conversion of electrons to holes follows an unexpected but clear trend: the dependencies on temperature and magnetic field are nearly decoupled. These trends unveil the loss and decoherence mechanisms of CAES. To complement our understanding of a QH-superconductor interface, we also study the thermal response under tens of nA current bias. We find that the superconductor is significantly overheated at low field in comparison to a similar-sized normal metal and the temperature distribution is not uniform. Our results demonstrate the existence of chiral edge states propagating along a QH-superconductor interface and interfering over a significant length. The study of the loss, decoherence and overheating of these states further paves the way for engineering topological superconductivity in exotic quantum circuits.

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Zhao, Lingfei (2022). Andreev conversion in the quantum Hall regime. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/26875.

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