Junctions created by coupling two superconductors via a semiconductor nanowire in the presence of high magnetic fields are the basis for the potential detection, fusion, and braiding of Majorana bound states. We study NbTiN/InSb nanowire/NbTiN Josephson junctions and find that the dependence of the critical current on the magnetic field exhibits gate-tunable nodes. This is in contrast with a well-known Fraunhofer effect, under which critical current nodes form a regular pattern with a period fixed by the junction area. Based on a realistic numerical model we conclude that the Zeeman effect induced by the magnetic field and the spin-orbit interaction in the nanowire are insufficient to explain the observed evolution of the Josephson effect. We find the interference between the few occupied one-dimensional modes in the nanowire to be the dominant mechanism responsible for the critical current behavior. We also report a strong suppression of critical currents at finite magnetic fields that should be taken into account when designing circuits based on Majorana bound states.
|Journal||Physical Review Letters|
|Publication status||Published - 3 Nov 2017|