Magnetization near a constriction between BCS superconductors by spin-dependent tunneling

O. Entin-Wohlman, R. I. Shekhter, M. Jonson, A. Aharony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Spin-dependent electron tunneling through a voltage-biased microconstriction between two bulk superconductors is shown to create a dc component of the magnetization in the superconductors near the constriction and an ac Josephson-like spin current. The static magnetization appears in one superconductor even if the other is replaced by a normal conductor. Although spin-dependent tunneling generates quantum spin fluctuations also in the absence of a bias, the formation of spin-triplet Cooper pairs, necessary for the creation of magnetization, is blocked by destructive interference between different quasielectron and quasihole tunneling channels, unless there is an asymmetry between the tunneling densities of states for electrons and holes. Breaking the symmetry in the electron-hole tunnel density of states and creating electron-hole tunneling imbalance by biasing the device destroys the destructive interference and enables triplet Cooper-pair formation. As a result, magnetizing the superconductor becomes possible. The role of the voltage in lifting the blockade hindering the spin-triplet Cooper pair formation is an example of an electrically controlled dissipationless spintronic phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL180501
JournalPhysical Review B
Volume108
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2023

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