Mesoscopic phenomena in hybrid superconductor/ferromagnet structures
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
This thesis explores peculiar effects of mesoscopic structures revealed at low temperatures. Three particular systems are studied experimentally: Ferromagnetic thin films made of diluted Pt1-xNix alloy, hybrid nanoscale Nb-Pt1-xNix-Nb Josephson junctions, and planar niobium Josephson junction with barrier layer made of Cu or Cu0.47Ni0.53 alloy.
A cost-effective way is applied to fabricate the sputtered NixPt1-x thin films with controllable Ni concentration. 3D Focused Ion Beam (FIB) sculpturing is used to fabricate Nb-Pt1-xNix-Nb Josephson junctions. The planar junctions are made by cutting Cu-Nb or CuNi-Nb double layer by FIB.
Magnetic properties of PtNi thin films are studied via the Hall effect. It is found that films with sub-critical Ni concentration are superparamagnetic at low temperatures and exhibit perpendicular magnetic anisotropy. Films with over-critical Ni concentration are ferromagnetic with parallel anisotropy. At the critical concentration the films demonstrate canted magnetization with the easy axis rotating as a function of temperature. The magnetism appears via two consecutive crossovers, going from paramagnetic to superparamagnetic to ferromagnetic, and the extraordinary Hall effect changes sign at low temperatures.
Detailed studies of superconductor-ferromagnet-superconductor Josephson junctions are carried out depending on the size of junction, thickness and composition of the ferromagnetic layer. The junction critical current density decreases non-monotonically with increasing Ni concentration. It has a minimum at ~ 40 at.% of Ni which indicates a switching into the π state.
The fabricated junctions are used as phase sensitive detectors for analysis of vortex states in mesoscopic superconductors. It is found that the vortex induces different flux shifts, in the measured Fraunhofer modulation of the Josephson critical current, depending on the position of the vortex. When the vortex is close to the junction it induces a flux shift equal to Φ0/2 leading to switching of the junction into the 0-π state. By changing the bias current at constant magnetic field the vortices can be manipulated and the system can be switched between two consecutive vortex states. A mesoscopic superconductor can thus act as a memory cell in which the junction is used both for reading and writing information (vortex).
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physics, Stockholm University , 2011. , 117 p.
Condensed Matter Physics
Research subject Physics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-56629ISBN: 978-91-7447-282-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-56629DiVA: diva2:411885
2011-05-26, FB51, AlbaNova Universitetscentrum, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Bouzdine, Alexandre, Professor
Krasnov, Vladimir, Professor
List of papers