Observation of spin-triplet superconductivity in Co-based Josephson junctions

Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Apr 2;104(13):137002. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.137002. Epub 2010 Mar 29.


We have measured a long-range supercurrent in Josephson junctions containing Co (a strong ferromagnetic material) when we insert thin layers of either PdNi or CuNi weakly ferromagnetic alloys between the Co and the two superconducting Nb electrodes. The critical current in such junctions hardly decays for Co thicknesses in the range of 12-28 nm, whereas it decays very steeply in similar junctions without the alloy layers. The long-range supercurrent is controllable by the thickness of the alloy layer, reaching a maximum for a thickness of a few nm. These experimental observations provide strong evidence for induced spin-triplet pair correlations, which have been predicted to occur in superconducting-ferromagnetic hybrid systems in the presence of certain types of magnetic inhomogeneity.