Topological spin-singlet superconductors with underlying sublattice structure
AbstractMajorana boundary quasiparticles may naturally emerge in a spin-singlet superconductor with Rashba spin-orbit interactions when a Zeeman magnetic field breaks time-reversal symmetry. Their existence and robustness against adiabatic changes is deeply related, via a bulk-edge correspondence, to topological properties of the band structure. The present paper shows that the spin-orbit may be responsible for topological transitions when the superconducting system has an underlying sublattice structure, as it appears in a dimerized Peierls chain, graphene, and phosphorene. These systems, which belong to the Bogoliubov–de Gennes class D, are found to have an extra symmetry that plays the role of the parity. It enables the characterization of the topology of the particle-hole symmetric band structure in terms of band inversions. The topological phase diagrams this leads to are then obtained analytically and exactly. They reveal that, because of the underlying sublattice structure, the existence of topological superconducting phases requires a minimum doping fixed by the strength of the Rashba spin orbit. Majorana boundary quasiparticles are finally predicted to emerge when the Fermi level lies in the vicinity of the bottom (top) of the conduction (valence) band in semiconductors such as the dimerized Peierls chain and phosphorene. In a two-dimensional topological superconductor based on (stretched) graphene, which is semimetallic, Majorana quasiparticles cannot emerge at zero and low doping, that is, when the Fermi level is close to the Dirac points. Nevertheless, they are likely to appear in the vicinity of the van Hove singularities.