We show that a chain of nonmagnetic impurities deposited on a fully gapped two- or three-dimensional superconductor can become a topological one-dimensional superconductor with protected Majorana bound states at its end. A prerequisite is that the pairing potential of the underlying superconductor breaks the spin-rotation symmetry, as it is generically the case in systems with strong spin-orbit coupling. We illustrate this mechanism for a spinless triplet-superconductor (px+ipy) and a time-reversal symmetric Rashba superconductor with a mixture of singlet and triplet pairing. For the latter, we show that the impurity chain can be topologically nontrivial even if the underlying superconductor is topologically trivial.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics