The concept of topological superconductivity has attracted immense interest in the physics community recently for several reasons: First, topological superconductors represent new phases of matter, which are topologically distinct from any other known phase of matter. Second, their discovery would enable the realization of the Majorana zero modes. Third, intrinsic topological superconductors promise to become important ingredients for next-generation quantum technologies. There are a handful of candidates to date considered as potential intrinsic topological superconductors. All of these display signs of unconventional, potentially topological superconductivity. However, the results from different experimental methods are inconclusive. One of the major challenges in the field of topological superconductivity has been the scarcity of potential materials, in contrast to the many exciting theoretical predictions of properties that could be unraveled by such a discovery. Currently, it should be fair to say that a material that convincingly displays intrinsic topological superconductivity and Majorana zero modes has so far not been discovered. This perspective aims to summarize the results of the most actively discussed potential topological superconductors for chemists. But, I will also compile the essential physical and chemical design principles of these materials from a chemists’ perspective in order to motivate synthetic chemists to join the quest for the discovery of the first intrinsic topological superconductor.
Fabian O. von Rohr
Chem. Mater. 2023