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Role of magnetic domains in superconducting tunneling spectroscopy of EuS/Al bilayers

AuthorsStrambini, E.; Golovach, V. N.; Simoni, Giorgio de; Moodera, J. S.; Bergeret, F. S. ; Giazotto, F.
Issue Date2017
Citation13th International Workshop on Magnetism & Superconductivity at the Nanoscale (2017)
AbstractA renewed interest in studying Ferromagnetic/superconductor structures came with the development of superconducting spintronics. Ferromagnetic insulators (FIs) attached to a superconductor are known to induce triplet superconducting pairing and an exchange energy splitting in the Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer (BCS) density of states proportional to the FI magnetization, and penetrating into the superconductor to a depth comparable with the superconducting coherence length. Experiments carried out at the end of 80's have demonstrated that the exchange field of FIs, such as EuS and EuO, can very effectively split the excitation spectrum of an adjacent superconductor (S), such as an Al thin film. Here we investigate this long-range magnetic proximity effect in EuS/Al bilayers tunnel coupled to an Al probing layer. Surprisingly the tunneling spectroscopy of our devices reveals that the exchange splitting of the BCS peaks is present even in the unpolarized state of the EuS, and is being further enhanced when magnetizing the sample by a magnetic field. The measurement data taken at the lowest temperatures (30 mK) feature a high contrast which has allowed us to relate the line shape of the split BCS conductance peaks to the characteristic magnetic domain structure of the EuS. By means of a microscopic model based on the quasiclassical Green's functions, we provided and exhaustive description of the magnetic proximity effect in EuS/Al bilayers strongly affected not only by the average magnetization but also by the domain structure and size of the FI. These results pave the way to engineering triplet superconductivity in EuS/Al bilayers. Furthermore, the hard gap and clear intrinsic spin-splitting observed in our tunneling spectroscopy measurements at zero field indicate that EuS/Al bilayers are an excellent platform for the development of devices requiring the coexistence of superconducting correlations and built-in spin-splitting exchange fields, as for example in the field of Majorana-based quantum computation.
DescriptionResumen del trabajo presentado al 13th International Workshop on Magnetism & Superconductivity at the Nanoscale, celebrado en Coma-Ruga, El Vendrell (España) del 2 al 7 de julio de 2017.
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