Spin-triplet supercurrent in Co-based Josephson junctions

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In the past year several groups have reported experimental evidence for spin-triplet supercurrents in Josephson junctions containing strong ferromagnetic materials. In this paper we present several new experimental results that follow up on our previous work. We study Josephson junctions of the form S/X/N/SAF/N/X/S, where S is a superconductor (Nb), N is a normal metal, SAF is a synthetic antiferromagnet of the form Co/Ru/Co and X is an ferromagnetic layer necessary to induce spin-triplet correlations in the structure. Our work is distinguished by the fact that the generation of spin-triplet correlations is tuned by the type and thickness of the X layers. The most important new result reported here is the discovery that a conventional, strong ferromagnetic material, Ni, performs well as the X layer, if it is sufficiently thin. This discovery rules out our earlier hypothesis that out-of-plane magnetocrystalline anisotropy is an important attribute of the X layers. These results suggest that the spin-triplet correlations are most likely induced by noncollinear magnetization between the X layers and adjacent Co layers.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0953-2048/24/2/024005

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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