Superconducting spin valves based on epitaxial Fe/V superlattices
2008 (English)In: Physical review B. Condensed matter and materials physics, ISSN 1550-235X, Vol. 78, no 13, 134520- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In superconducting spin valves of the type S/F1/N/F2 or F1/S/F2 with a superconducting layer S, two ferromagnetic layers F1 and F2, and a normal metallic layer N, the superconducting transition temperature T-S depends on the relative magnetization direction of the ferromagnetic layers F1 and F2. The difference of the transition temperature Delta T-S=T-s(AP)-T-s(P) with the magnetization direction of F1 and F2 either antiparallel or parallel is called the superconducting spin valve effect. We have prepared both types of spin valves by growing Fe/V thin-film heterostructures with epitaxial quality on MgO(001) substrates. In the S/F1/N/F2-type spin valves the ferromagnetic layers were the first two Fe layers of a [Fe/V] superlattice coupled antiferromagnetically via the interlayer exchange interaction. Here we observed a superconducting spin valve shift of up to Delta T-S approximate to 200 mK when aligning the sublattice magnetization in an external magnetic field. In the F1/S/F2-type spin valves the ferromagnetic layer F1 was either a [Fe/V] or a [FexV1-x/V] superlattice, the F2 layer was a Fe-, a Co-, or a FexV1-x film. Using weakly ferromagnetic FexV1-x alloy layers as F1 and F2 we find a spin valve effect of up to Delta T-S approximate to 20 mK, which is more than a factor of 2 larger than reported in the literature before for spin valves with comparable transition temperatures. Our results indicate that a high interface transparency and a large superconducting correlation length are prerequisites for the observation of a sizable superconducting spin valve effect.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 78, no 13, 134520- p.
epitaxial layers, exchange interactions (electron), iron, magnetisation, spin valves, superconducting devices, superconducting transition temperature, superlattices, vanadium
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-101234DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.78.134520ISI: 000260574200106OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-101234DiVA: diva2:212129