Topological strings linking with quasiparticle exchange in superconducting Dirac semimetals

Pedro L.E.S. Lopes, Jeffrey C.Y. Teo, Shinsei Ryu

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2 Scopus citations

Abstract

We demonstrate a topological classification of vortices in three-dimensional time-reversal invariant topological superconductors based on superconducting Dirac semimetals with an s-wave superconducting order parameter by means of a pair of numbers (NΦ,N), accounting how many units NΦ of magnetic fluxes hc/4e and how many N chiral Majorana modes the vortex carries. From these quantities, we introduce a topological invariant, which further classifies the properties of such vortices under linking processes. While such processes are known to be related to instanton processes in a field theoretic description, we demonstrate here that they are, in fact, also equivalent to the fractional Josephson effect on junctions based at the edges of quantum spin Hall systems. This allows one to consider microscopically the effects of interactions in the linking problem. We therefore demonstrate that associated to links between vortices, one has the exchange of quasiparticles, either Majorana zero modes, or e/2 quasiparticles, which allows for a topological classification of vortices in these systems, seen to be Z8 classified. While NΦ and N are shown to be both even or odd in the weakly interacting limit, in the strongly interacting scenario one loosens this constraint. In this case, one may have further fractionalization possibilities for the vortices, whose excitations are described by SO(3)3-like conformal field theories with quasiparticle exchanges of more exotic types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number235134
JournalPhysical Review B
Volume95
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 16 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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