Transport Through a Coulomb Blockaded Majorana Nanowire

Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series B: Physics and Biophysics book series (NAPSB)


In one-dimensional (1D) quantum wires with strong spin-orbit coupling and a Zeeman field, a superconducting substrate can induce zero-energy Majorana bound states located near the ends of the wire. We study electronic properties when such a wire is contacted by normal metallic or superconducting electrodes. A special attention is devoted to Coulomb blockade effects. We analyze the “Majorana single-charge transistor” (MSCT), i.e., a floating Majorana wire contacted by normal metallic source and drain contacts, where charging effects are important. We describe Coulomb oscillations in this system and predict that Majorana fermions could be unambiguously detected by the emergence of sideband peaks in the nonlinear differential conductance. We also study a superconducting variant of the MSCT setup with s-wave superconducting (instead of normal-conducting) leads. In the noninteracting case, we derive the exact current-phase relation (CPR) and find π-periodic behavior with negative critical current for weak tunnel couplings. Charging effects then cause the anomalous CPR \(I(\varphi ) = I_{c}\cos \varphi\), where the parity-sensitive critical current I c provides a signature for Majorana states.


Coulomb Blockade Negative Critical Current Sideband Peaks Coulomb Oscillations Majorana State 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Theoretische PhysikHeinrich-Heine-UniversitDüsseldorfGermany
  2. 2.Departamento de Física Teórica de la Materia CondensadaUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain

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