Remotely induced magnetism in a normal metal using a superconducting spin-valve

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

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Superconducting spintronics has emerged in the past decade as a promising new field that seeks to open a new dimension for nanoelectronics by utilizing the internal spin structure of the superconducting Cooper pair as a new degree of freedom. Its basic building blocks are spin-triplet Cooper pairs with equally aligned spins, which are promoted by proximity of a conventional superconductor to a ferromagnetic material with inhomogeneous macroscopic magnetization. Using low-energy muon spin-rotation experiments we find an unanticipated effect, in contradiction with the existing theoretical models of superconductivity and ferromagnetism: the appearance of a magnetization in a thin layer of a non-magnetic metal (gold), separated from a ferromagnetic double layer by a 50-nm-thick superconducting layer of Nb. The effect can be controlled either by temperature or by using a magnetic field to control the state of the remote ferromagnetic elements, and may act as a basic building block for a new generation of quantum interference devices based on the spin of a Cooper pair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-61
Number of pages5
JournalNature Physics
Issue number1
Early online date5 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2016


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