A Numerical Study of the Superconducting Proximity Effect in Topological Surface States

Roland Grein, Jens Michelsen, Matthias Eschrig

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We study the superconducting proximity effect induced in the surface states of the 3-d topological insulator Bi2Se3 by a singlet, s-wave superconductor deposited on its surface. To this effect, the k.p-Hamiltonian of Bi2Se3 and the BCS-Hamiltonian are mapped onto tight-binding chains which we couple through a transfer-Hamiltonian at the interface. We then employ the Recursive Green's Function technique to obtain the local spectral function and infer the dispersion of the interface-states from it. In agreement with earlier microscopic studies of this problem, we find that the Fu-Kane model is a reasonable approximation at energies ε<< ΔSC. However, for energies close to the SC bulk gap, the Fu-Kane model is expected to break down. Indeed, our numerical calculations show strong modifications of the interface-state dispersion for ε≥ΔSC. We find that the proximity effect can be strong enough to induce a gap in the surface state that is comparable to the superconducting gap. An analysis of the spatial profile of the states shows that their weight shifts towards the SC as the coupling strength increases. We conclude that an intermediate coupling is ideal for realising the Fu-Kane scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012149
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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