Semiconductor nanowires are ideal for realizing various low-dimensional quantum devices. In particular, topological phases of matter hosting non-Abelian quasiparticles (such as anyons) can emerge when a semiconductor nanowire with strong spin–orbit coupling is brought into contact with a superconductor1,2. To exploit the potential of non-Abelian anyons—which are key elements of topological quantum computing—fully, they need to be exchanged in a well-controlled braiding operation3,4,5,6,7,8. Essential hardware for braiding is a network of crystalline nanowires coupled to superconducting islands. Here we demonstrate a technique for generic bottom-up synthesis of complex quantum devices with a special focus on nanowire networks with a predefined number of superconducting islands. Structural analysis confirms the high crystalline quality of the nanowire junctions, as well as an epitaxial superconductor–semiconductor interface. Quantum transport measurements of nanowire ‘hashtags’ reveal Aharonov–Bohm and weak-antilocalization effects, indicating a phase-coherent system with strong spin–orbit coupling. In addition, a proximity-induced hard superconducting gap (with vanishing sub-gap conductance) is demonstrated in these hybrid superconductor–semiconductor nanowires, highlighting the successful materials development necessary for a first braiding experiment. Our approach opens up new avenues for the realization of epitaxial three-dimensional quantum architectures which have the potential to become key components of various quantum devices.
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We acknowledge N. Wilson for the assistance at University of California, Santa Barbara. This work has been supported by the European Research Council (ERC HELENA 617256 and Synergy), the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO-VICI 700.10.441), the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) and Microsoft Corporation Station-Q. We acknowledge Solliance, a solar energy R&D initiative of ECN, TNO, Holst, TU/e, imec and Forschungszentrum Jülich, and the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant for funding the TEM facility. We thank the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for financial support. The work at University of California, Santa Barbara was supported in part by Microsoft Research. We also acknowledge the use of facilities within the National Science Foundation Materials Research and Science and Engineering Center (DMR 11–21053) at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the LeRoy Eyring Center for Solid State Science at Arizona State University.
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