Wednesday, July 31, 2013

1307.7873 (Johannes S. Hofmann et al.)

Theory of quasiparticle scattering interference on the surface of
topological superconductors

Johannes S. Hofmann, Raquel Queiroz, Andreas P. Schnyder
Topological superconductors, such as noncentrosymmetric superconductors with strong spin-orbit coupling, exhibit protected zero-energy surface states, which possess an intricate helical spin structure. We show that this nontrival spin character of the surface states can be tested experimentally from the absence of certain backscattering processes in Fourier-transform scanning tunneling measurements. A detailed theoretical analysis is given of the quasiparticle scattering interference on the surface of both nodal and fully gapped topological superconductors with different crystal point-group symmetries. We determine the universal features in the interference patterns resulting from magnetic and nonmagnetic scattering processes of the surface quasiparticles. It is shown that Fourier-transform scanning tunneling spectroscopy allows to uniquely distinguish among different types of topological surface states, such as zero-energy flat bands, arc surface states, and helical Majorana modes, which in turn provides valuable information on the spin and orbital pairing symmetry of the bulk superconducting state.
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