Superconducting spin valves controlled by spiral re-orientation in B20-family magnets

Nataliya Pugach, M. Safonchik, Thierry Champel, M. E. Zhitomirsky, E. Lahderanta, Matthias Eschrig, C. Lacroix

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We propose a superconducting spin-triplet valve, which consists of a superconductor and an itinerant magnetic material, with the magnet showing an intrinsic non-collinear order characterized by a wave vector that may be aligned in a few equivalent preferred directions under the control of a weak external magnetic field. Re-orienting the spiral direction allows one to controllably modify long-range spin-triplet superconducting correlations, leading to spin-valve switching behavior. Our results indicate that the spin-valve effect may be noticeable. This bilayer may be used as a magnetic memory element for cryogenic nanoelectronics. It has the following advantages in comparison to superconducting spin valves proposed previously: (i) it contains only one magnetic layer, which may be more easily fabricated and controlled; (ii) its ground states are separated by a potential barrier, which solves the “half-select” problem of the addressed switch of memory elements.
Original languageEnglish
Article number162601
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number16
Early online date20 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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