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Identifying Majorana vortex modes via nonlocal transport

by An-ping Li, Robert G Moore Ii, Matthew J Brahlek
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Physical Review B
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The combination of two-dimensional Dirac surface states with s-wave superconductivity is expected to generate localized topological Majorana zero modes in vortex cores. Putative experimental signatures of these modes have been reported for heterostructures of proximitized topological insulators, iron-based superconductors or certain transition metal dichalcogenides. Despite these efforts, the Majorana nature of the observed excitation is still under debate. We propose to identify the presence of Majorana vortex modes using a nonlocal transport measurement protocol originally employed for one-dimensional settings. In the case of an isolated subgap state, the protocol provides a spatial map of the ratio of local charge- and probability-density which offers a clear distinction between Majorana and ordinary fermionic modes. We show that these distinctive features survive in the experimentally relevant case of hybridizing vortex core modes.