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Single-electron charge transfer into putative Majorana and trivial modes in individual vortices

Majorana bound states are putative collective excitations in solids that exhibit the self-conjugate property of Majorana fermions—they are their own antiparticles. In iron-based superconductors, zero-energy states in vortices have been reported as potential Majorana bound states, but the evidence remains controversial. Here, we use scanning tunneling noise spectroscopy to study the tunneling process into vortex bound states in the conventional superconductor NbSe2, and in the putative Majorana platform FeTe0.55Se0.45. We find that tunneling into vortex bound states in both cases exhibits charge transfer of a single electron charge. Our data for the zero-energy bound states in FeTe0.55Se0.45 exclude the possibility of Yu–Shiba–Rusinov states and are consistent with both Majorana bound states and trivial vortex bound states. Our results open an avenue for investigating the exotic states in vortex cores and for future Majorana devices, although further theoretical investigations involving charge dynamics and superconducting tips are necessary.

Read the whole article in Nature Communications.