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Estimating disorder and its adverse effects in semiconductor Majorana nanowires

TitleEstimating disorder and its adverse effects in semiconductor Majorana nanowires
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsS. Ahn, H. Pan, B. Woods, T. D. Stanescu, and S. Das Sarma
JournalPhys. Rev. Mater.
Date PublishedDEC 9
Type of ArticleArticle

We use the available transport measurements in the literature to develop a dataset for the likely amount of disorder in semiconductor (InAs and InSb) materials which are used in fabricating the superconductor-semiconductor nanowire samples in the experimental search for Majorana zero modes. Using the estimated disorder in direct Majorana simulations, we conclude that the current level of disorder in semiconductor Majorana nanowires is at least an order of magnitude higher than that necessary for the emergence of topological Majorana zero modes. In agreement with existing results, we find that our estimated disorder leads to the occasional emergence of trivial zero modes, which can be post-selected and then further fine-tuned by varying system parameters (e.g., tunnel barrier), leading to trivial zero-bias conductance peaks in tunneling spectroscopy with similar to 2e(2)/h magnitude. Most calculated tunnel spectra in these disordered systems, however, manifest essentially no significant features, which is also consistent with the current experimental status, where zero-bias peaks are found only occasionally in some samples under careful fine-tuning.