Aug 9 – 20, 2010
Europe/Stockholm timezone

Dr. Chung, Suk Bum (Stanford University): Half-quantum vortices in p_x + ip_y superconductors

Aug 16, 2010, 1:45 PM


Roslagstullsbacken 23, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden


Half-quantum vortices, each with flux of h/4e, are needed to realize topological quantum computation in a p+ip superconductor. However, until recently, there had not been any clear experimental observation of such vortices. We point out, although the magnetic energy is reduced by breaking full vortices into half-quantum vortices, there is an energy cost (which diverges with system size) due to the unscreened spin current and the spin state locking. The recent observation of half-quantum vortices by the Budakian group can be best explained by the fact that the magnetic energy savings can dominate over the spin energy cost in a mesoscopic setting. A finite density vortex lattice may have similar energetics, leading to a lattice of half-quantum vortices. Lastly we show that there can be entropy driven dissociation of a full vortex into two half-quantum vortices.

Primary author

Dr Suk Bum Chung (Stanford University)

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