Milestones toward Majorana-based topological quantum computing

Ryan Mishmash (Caltech)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2016-11-21 12:00 - 13:00
Local Contact: 
Marcel Franz
In this talk, I will introduce a new scheme for preparation, 
manipulation, and readout of Majorana zero modes in semiconducting wires 
coated with mesoscopic superconducting islands.  Our approach 
synthesizes recent materials growth breakthroughs with tools long 
successfully deployed in quantum-dot research, notably gate-tunable 
island couplings, charge-sensing readout, and charge pumping.  Guided by 
these capabilities, we map out numerous milestones that progressively 
bridge the gap between zero-mode detection and long-term quantum 
computing applications.  These include (1) detecting non-Abelian anyon 
'fusion rules' in two complementary schemes, one based on charge 
sensing, the other using a novel Majorana-mediated charge pump, (2) 
validation of a prototype topological qubit, (3) braiding to demonstrate 
non-Abelian statistics, and (4) observing the elusive topological phase 
transition accompanying the onset of Majorana modes.  With the exception 
of braiding, these proposed experiments require only a single wire with 
as few as two islands---a setup already available in the 
laboratory---and additionally enable sensitive measurements of the 
system's spin-orbit coupling strength and excitation gap, quasiparticle 
poisoning rates, residual Majorana zero-mode splittings, and topological 
qubit coherence times (among other important device parameters).  Our 
work spotlights near-term landmark Majorana experiments realizable in 
other manipulation and readout approaches as well.
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