Physicists at MIT and elsewhere have observed evidence of Majorana fermions on the surface of a common metal: Gold. This is the first sighting of Majorana fermions on a platform that can potentially be scaled up.
Scientists have been looking for Majorana’s enigmatic particle – a particle that is theorized to also be its own antiparticle – for long. It has been suggested, but not proven, that the neutrino may be a Majorana particle. On the other hand, theorists have predicted that Majorana fermions may also exist in solids under special conditions.
The team has observed evidence of Majorana fermions in a material system they designed and fabricated, which consists of nanowires of gold grown atop a superconducting material, vanadium, and dotted with small, ferromagnetic “islands” of europium sulfide.
This study is a major step toward isolating the particles as stable, error-proof qubits for quantum computing. It follows the discovery of Majorana fermions on a superconductor, uranium ditelluride (UTe2). (Phys.org)
The results of this study have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.