Controlled suppression of superconductivity by the generation of polarized Cooper pairs in spin-valve structures

M. G. Flokstra, T. C. Cunningham, J. Kim, N. Satchell, G. Burnell, P. J. Curran, S. J. Bending, C. J. Kinane, J. F K Cooper, S. Langridge, A. Isidori, N. Pugach, M. Eschrig, S. L. Lee

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Transport measurements are presented on thin-film superconducting spin-valve systems, where the controlled noncollinear arrangement of two ferromagnetic Co layers can be used to influence the superconducting state of Nb. We observe a very clear oscillation of the superconducting transition temperature with the relative orientation of the two ferromagnetic layers. Our measurements allow us to distinguish between the competing influences of domain averaging, stray dipolar fields, and the formation of superconducting spin triplets. Domain averaging is shown to lead to a weak enhancement of transition temperature for the antiparallel configuration of exchange fields, while much larger changes are observed for other configurations, which can be attributed to drainage currents due to spin triplet formation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number060501
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review B : Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number6-1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2015


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