Signatures of topological Josephson junctions

Yang Peng, Falko Pientka, Erez Berg, Yuval Oreg, Felix von Oppen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Quasiparticle poisoning and diabatic transitions may significantly narrow the window for the experimental observation of the 4 pi-periodic dc Josephson effect predicted for topological Josephson junctions. Here, we show that switching-current measurements provide accessible and robust signatures for topological superconductivity which persist in the presence of quasiparticle poisoning processes. Such measurements provide access to the phase-dependent subgap spectrum and Josephson currents of the topological junction when incorporating it into an asymmetric SQUID together with a conventional Josephson junction with large critical current. We also argue that pump-probe experiments with multiple current pulses can be used to measure the quasiparticle poisoning rates of the topological junction. The proposed signatures are particularly robust, even in the presence of Zeeman fields and spin-orbit coupling, when focusing on short Josephson junctions. Finally, we also consider microwave excitations of short topological Josephson junctions which may complement switching-current measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number085409
Number of pages22
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number8
StatePublished - 11 Aug 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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