Boundary-Obstructed Topological High-Tc Superconductivity in Iron Pnictides

Xianxin Wu, Wladimir A. Benalcazar, Yinxiang Li, Ronny Thomale, Chao Xing Liu, Jiangping Hu

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55 Scopus citations


Nontrivial topology and unconventional pairing are two central guiding principles in the contemporary search for and analysis of superconducting materials and heterostructure compounds. Previously, a topological superconductor has been predominantly conceived to result from a topologically nontrivial band subject to an intrinsic or external superconducting proximity effect. Here, we propose a new class of topological superconductors that are uniquely induced by unconventional pairing. They exhibit a boundary-obstructed higher-order topological character and, depending on their dimensionality, feature unprecedently robust Majorana bound states or hinge modes protected by chiral symmetry. We predict the 112 family of iron pnictides, such as Ca1-xLaxFeAs2, to be highly suited material candidates for our proposal, which can be tested by edge spectroscopy. Because of the boundary obstruction, the topologically nontrivial feature of the 112 pnictides does not reveal itself for a bulk-only torus band analysis without boundaries, and as such, it had evaded previous investigations. Our proposal not only opens a new arena for highly stable Majorana modes in high-temperature superconductors but also provides the smoking gun for extended s-wave order in the iron pnictides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041014
JournalPhysical Review X
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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