Topologically non-trivial superconductivity has been predicted to occur in superconductors with a sizable spin-orbit coupling in the presence of an external Zeeman splitting. Two such systems have been proposed: (a) s-wave superconductor pair potential is proximity induced on a semiconductor, and (b) pair potential naturally arises from an intrinsic s-wave pairing interaction. As is now well known, such systems in the form of a 2D film or 1D nano-wires in a wire-network can be used for topological quantum computation. When the external Zeeman splitting \$\backslash Gamma\$ crosses a critical value \$\backslash Gamma\_c\$, the system passes from a regular superconducting phase to a non-Abelian topological superconducting phase. In both cases (a) and (b) we consider in this paper the pair potential \$\backslash Delta\$ is strictly s-wave in both the ordinary and the topological superconducting phases, which are separated by a topological quantum critical point at \$\backslash Gamma\_c = \backslash sqrt\{\backslash Delta\^{}2 + \backslash mu\^{}2\}\$, where \$\backslash mu (\>\> \backslash Delta)\$ is the chemical potential. On the other hand, since \$\backslash Gamma\_c \>\> \backslash Delta\$, the Zeeman splitting required for the topological phase (\$\backslash Gamma \> \backslash Gamma\_c\$) far exceeds the value (\$\backslash Gamma \backslash sim \backslash Delta\$) above which an s-wave pair potential is expected to vanish (and the system to become non-superconducting) in the absence of spin-orbit coupling. We are thus led to a situation that the topological superconducting phase appears to set in a parameter regime at which the system actually is non-superconducting in the absence of spin-orbit coupling. In this paper we address the question of how a pure s-wave pair potential can survive a strong Zeeman field to give rise to a topological superconducting phase. We show that the spin-orbit coupling is the crucial parameter for the quantum transition into and the robustness of the topologically non-trivial superconducting phase realized for \$\backslash Gamma \>\> \backslash Delta\$.

}, keywords = {2011, Single Fellow}, issn = {1367-2630}, url = {http://stacks.iop.org/1367-2630/13/i=6/a=065004 http://arxiv.org/abs/1012.0057}, author = {Tewari, Sumanta and Tudor D Stanescu and Jay D Sau and S. Das Sarma} }