Searching for Majorana Fermions in 2D Spin-Orbit Coupled Fermi Superfluids at Finite Temperature
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Recent experimental breakthroughs in realizing spin-orbit (SO) coupling for cold atoms have spurred considerable interest in the physics of two-dimensional SO coupled Fermi superfluids, especially topological Majorana fermions (MFs) which were predicted to exist at zero temperature. However, it is well known that long-range superfluid order is destroyed in two dimensions by phase fluctuations at finite temperature, and the relevant physics is the BKTs transition. In this Letter, we examine finite temperature effects on SO coupled Fermi gases and show that finite temperature is indeed necessary for the observation of MFs. Majorana fermions are topologically protected by a quasiparticle energy gap which is found to be much larger than the temperature. The restrictions to the parameter region for the observation of MFs have been obtained. © 2012 American Physical Society.