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Superconductor–topological insulator (SC-TI) heterostructures were proposed to be a possible platform to realize and control Majorana zero modes. Despite experimental signatures indicating their existence, univocal interpretation of the observed features demands theories including realistic electronic structures. To achieve this, the authors solve the Kohn–Sham–Dirac–Bogoliubov–de Gennes equations for ultrathin Bi2Se3 films on superconductor palladium telluride within the fully relativistic Korringa-Kohn-Rostoker method and investigate quasiparticle spectra as a function of chemical potential and film thickness. The authors find multiple proximity-induced gaps where the gap sizes highly depend on characteristics of the TI states. The TI Dirac interface state is relevant to the induced gap only when the chemical potential is close to the Dirac-point energy. Otherwise, at a given chemical potential, the largest induced gap arises from the highest-energy quantum-well states, whereas the smallest gap arises from the TI topological surface state with its gap size depending on the TI pairing potential.
Kyungwha Park, Gabor Csire, and Balazs Ujfalussy Phys. Rev. B 102, 134504
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