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Does a ferromagnet with spin-dependent masses produce a spin-filtering effect in a ferromagnetic/insulator/superconductor junction?

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We analyze charge transport through a ballistic ferromagnet/insulator/superconductor junction by means of the Bogoliubov–de Gennes equations. We take into account the possibility that ferromagnetism in the first electrode may be driven by a mass renormalization of oppositely polarized carriers, i.e. by a spin bandwidth asymmetry, rather than by a rigid splitting of up- and down-spin electron bands as in a standard Stoner ferromagnet. By evaluating the averaged charge conductance for both an s- and a dx2y2-wave order parameter for the S side, we show that the mass mismatch in the ferromagnetic electrode may mimic a spin active barrier. Indeed, in the s-wave case we show that under suitable conditions the spin-dependent conductance of minority carriers below the energy gap Δ0 can be larger than for majority carriers, and lower above Δ0. On the other hand, for a dx2y2-wave superconductor similar spin-dependent effects give rise to an asymmetric peak splitting in the conductance. These results suggest that the junction may work as a spin-filtering device.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0953-2048/24/2/024021

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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