We study how nonhelical spin textures at the boundary between a topological insulator (TI) and a superconductor (SC) affect the proximity-induced superconductivity of the TI interface state. We consider TIs coupled to both spin-singlet and spin-triplet SCs, and show that for the spin-triplet parent SCs, the resulting order parameter induced onto the interface state sensitively depends on the symmetries which are broken at the TI-SC boundary. For chiral spin-triplet parent SCs, we find that nodal proximity-induced superconductivity emerges when there is broken twofold rotational symmetry which forces the spins of the nonhelical topological states to tilt away from the interface plane. We furthermore show that the Andreev conductance of lateral heterostructures joining TI-vacuum and TI-SC interfaces yields experimental signatures of the reduced symmetries of the interface states.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Physical Review B
Alspaugh, D., Asmar, M., Sheehy, D., & Vekhter, I. (2018). Proximity-induced superconductivity at nonhelical topological insulator interfaces. Physical Review B, 98 (10) https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.98.104516