- Kitaev spin models from topological nanowire networks
- Physical Review B
- Volume | Issue number
- 89 | 7
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Theoretical Physics Amsterdam (ITFA)
We show that networks of superconducting topological nanowires can realize the physics of exactly solvable Kitaev spin models on trivalent lattices. This connection arises from the low-energy theory of both systems being described by a tight-binding model of Majorana modes. In Kitaev spin models the Majorana description provides a convenient representation to solve the model, whereas in an array of Josephson junctions of topological nanowires it arises from localized physical Majorana modes tunneling between the wire ends. We explicitly show that an array of junctions of three wires—a setup relevant to topological quantum computing with nanowires—can realize the Yao-Kivelson model, a variant of Kitaev spin models on a decorated honeycomb lattice. Employing properties of the latter, we show that the network can be constructed to give rise to two-dimensional collective topological states characterized by Chern numbers ν=0,±1, and ±2, and that defects in the array can be associated with vortex-like quasiparticle excitations. In addition we show that the collective states are stable in the presence of disorder and superconducting phase fluctuations. When the network is operated as a quantum information processor, the connection to Kitaev spin models implies that decoherence mechanisms can in general be understood in terms of proliferation of the vortex-like quasiparticles.
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