Spin-polarized currents and noise in NS junctions with Yu-Shiba-Rusinov impurities

23 Jun 2016  ·  Persson Daniel, Shevtsov Oleksii, Löfwander Tomas, Fogelström Mikael ·

Conventional superconductors disordered by magnetic impurities demonstrate physical properties drastically different from their pristine counterparts. In our previous work [Phys... Rev. B 92, 245430 (2015)] we explored spectral and thermodynamic properties of such systems for two extreme cases: completely random and ferromagnetically aligned impurity magnetic moments. Here we consider transport properties of these systems, and show that they have a potential to be used in superconducting spintronic devices. Each magnetic impurity contributes a Yu-Shiba-Rusinov (YSR) bound state to the spectrum, residing at sub-gap energies. Provided the YSR states form metallic bands, we demonstrate that the tunneling current carried by these states can be highly spin-polarized when the impurities are ferromagnetically ordered. The spin polarization can be switched by simply tuning the bias voltage. Moreover, even when the impurity spins are completely uncorrelated, one can still achieve almost 100% spin polarization of the current, if the tunnel interface is spin-active. We compute electric current and noise, varying parameters of the interface between tunneling and fully transparent regimes, and analyze the relative role of single-particle and Andreev reflection processes. read more

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Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics Superconductivity