Triplet supercurrents in clean and disordered half-metallic ferromagnets
Journal article, 2008

Interfaces between materials with differently ordered phases present unique opportunities to study fundamental problems in physics. One example is the interface between a singlet superconductor and a half-metallic ferromagnet, where Cooper pairing occurs between electrons with opposite spin on the superconducting side, whereas the other exhibits 100% spin polarization. The recent surprising observation of a supercurrent through half-metallic CrO2 therefore requires a mechanism for conversion between unpolarized and completely spin-polarized supercurrents. Here, we suggest a conversion mechanism based on electron spin precession together with triplet-pair rotation at interfaces with broken spin-rotation symmetry. In the diffusive limit (short mean free path), the triplet supercurrent is dominated by inter-related odd-frequency s-wave and even-frequency p-wave pairs. In the crossover to the ballistic limit, further symmetry components become relevant. The interface region exhibits a superconducting state of mixed-spin pairs with highly unusual symmetry properties that open up new perspectives for exotic Josephson devices.

Josephson junction





Matthias Eschrig

Tomas Löfwander

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Electronics Material and Systems

Nature Physics

Vol. 4 138-

Subject Categories

Condensed Matter Physics

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