Nontopological nature of the edge current in a chiralp-wave superconductor Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The edges of time reversal symmetry breaking topological superconductors support chiral Majorana bound states as well as spontaneous charge currents. The Majorana modes are a robust, topological property, but the charge currents are non-topological--and therefore sensitive to microscopic details--even if we neglect Meissner screening. We give insight into the non-topological nature of edge currents in chiral p-wave superconductors using a variety of theoretical techniques, including lattice Bogoliubov-de Gennes equations, the quasiclassical approximation, and the gradient expansion, and describe those special cases where edge currents do have a topological character. While edge currents are not quantized, they are generically large, but can be substantially reduced for a sufficiently anisotropic gap function, a scenario of possible relevance for the putative chiral p-wave superconductor Sr$_2$RuO$_4$.

publication date

  • March 12, 2015