What is your thesis topic?
My thesis topic is “Manipulating Topological and Superconducting Phases of Sn Thin Films.” The goal of my research work is to understand properties of distinct phases of Sn thin films and to further utilize them for topological superconductivity studies.
How is materials processing involved in your research?
Sn is a unique group IV element that has recently drawn attention due to its ability to exhibit both topological and superconducting phases. My research is focused on synthesizing high quality Sn thin films using molecular beam epitaxy and studying different phases of Sn. To achieve this goal, we grow Sn thin films with varying lattice parameters by growing them on closely lattice-matched buffer layers and then perform a systematic study of a broad range of Sn phases in the presence of different compressive and tensile strains. Later, this study will be utilized to prepare hybrid structures for topological superconductivity studies, including superconducting Sn–semiconductor hybrids and topological Sn-superconductor hybrids. Further material processing will be required in thin film characterization, transport studies, and device fabrication.
Provide an example of where the material, process, or properties you are studying might find an application.
Sn thin film material processing is not only important to characterize interesting properties of various Sn phases to study novel physics but also to synthesize hybrid structures to realize topological superconductivity. Among different topological phases of matter, topological superconductors are unique as they can host Majorana bound states (MBS) that can act as quantum bits and have potential applications for fault-tolerant quantum computing. Theoretically, it is proposed that p-wave spinless superconductivity is necessary to realize topological superconductivity, which poses a materials science challenge. To solve this challenge, it is proposed that MBS can be realized in laboratory at the interface between a conventional s-wave superconductor and topological materials or semiconductors with strong spin orbit coupling.