Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy: Research paper of the month

Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy

Research paper of the month

October 2015 - Superconducting spintronics

At the interface between materials with radically different properties, new physical phenomena can emerge. A classical example of such an interface is that between a superconductor and a ferromagnet, where the opposing electron orders destructively interfere; however, it turns out that under the right conditions at a superconductor–ferromagnet interface, both superconductivity and spin polarization can unite to create a spin-polarized superconducting state that offers tantalizing possibilities for spin transport in spin electronics where Joule heating and dissipation are minimized. This review article outlines the experimental and theoretical progress that has been made since the discovery of spin-polarized Cooper pairs in 2010 [J. W. A. Robinson, J. Witt, M.G. Blamire, Science 329, 59 (2010)] and provides an outlook for upcoming challenges in the new field of superconducting spintronics.                  

Figure. A cartoon illustrating the principle of electron spin-mixing at a superconductor / ferromagnet interface for generating spin-polarized Cooper pairs.

Jacob Linder & Jason Robinson, “Superconducting spintronics”, Nature Physics 11, 307-315 (2015).

doi: 10.1038/nphys3242