Majorana Modes in Driven-Dissipative Atomic Superfluids With Zero Chern Number

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C. Bardyn, M. Baranov, E. Rico Ortega, A. Imamoglu, P. Zoller, S. Diehl


Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 130402 (2012)

We investigate dissipation-induced p-wave paired states of fermions in two dimensions and show the existence of spatially separated Majorana zero modes in a phase with vanishing Chern number. We construct an explicit and natural model of a dissipative vortex that traps a single of these modes, and establish its topological origin by mapping the problem to a chiral one-dimensional wire where we observe a nonequilibrium topological phase transition characterized by an abrupt change of a topological invariant (winding number). We show that the existence of a single Majorana zero mode in the vortex core is intimately tied to the dissipative nature of our model. Engineered dissipation opens up possibilities for experimentally realizing such states with no Hamiltonian counterpart.