Meissner screening as a probe for inverse superconductor-ferromagnet proximity effects
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We present experimental results on the observed flux screening in proximity coupled superconductor-ferromagnet thin film structures using Nb and Co as the superconductor and ferromagnet respectively. Using the low-energy muon-spin rotation technique to locally probe the magnetic flux density, we find that the addition of the ferromagnet (F) increases the total flux screening inside the superconductor. Two contributions can be distinguished. One is consistent with the predicted spin-polarization (or magnetic proximity) effect, while the other is in line with the recently emerged electromagnetic (EM) proximity models. Furthermore, we show that the addition of a few nanometers of a normal metallic layer between the Nb and the Co fully destroys the contribution due to electromagnetic proximity. This is unanticipated by the current theory models in which the magnetization in the F layer is assumed to be the only driving force for the EM effect and suggests the role of additional factors. Further experiments to explore the influence of the direction of the F magnetization also reveal deviations from theory. These findings are an important step forward in improving the theoretical description and understanding of proximity coupled systems.
Flokstra , M G , Stewart , R , Satchell , N , Burnell , G , Luetkens , H , Prokscha , T , Suter , A , Morenzoni , E & Lee , S 2021 , ' Meissner screening as a probe for inverse superconductor-ferromagnet proximity effects ' , Physical Review. B, Condensed matter and materials physics , vol. 104 , no. 6 , L060506 . https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.104.L060506
Physical Review. B, Condensed matter and materials physics
Copyright © 2021 American Physical Society. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.104.L060506.
DescriptionFunding: We acknowledge the support of the EPSRC through Grants No. EP/I031014/1, No. EP/J01060X, No. EP/J010634/1, No. EP/L015110/1, No. EP/R031924/1, and No. EP/R023522/1. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No. 743791 (SUPERSPIN). R.S. acknowledges funding under ETH Zurich Postdoctoral Fellowship 20-1FEL-36.
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