An overview of topological insulators, topological superconductors, and the search for Majorana fermions
A simple overview of topological insulators (TI) and topological superconductors (TSC) will be given. TI are bulk insulators with surface conductance. They are robust against disorder and decoherence, and therefore interesting for quantum computing. A TSC can be realized when superconductivity is induced in a TI by the proximity effect with a conventional s-wave superconductor. TSC junctions with a normal metal are predicted to have zero bias conductance peaks in their conductance spectra which originate in Majorana fermions (MF). These MF states might be the basic units of a future quantum computer. Recent experimental results will be presented and discussed in the context of TSC and MF.