Control of superconductivity with a single ferromagnetic layer in niobium/erbium bilayers

N. Satchell, J. D. S. Witt, M. G. Flokstra, S. L. Lee, J. F. K. Cooper, C. J. Kinane, S. Langridge, G. Burnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Superconducting spintronics in hybrid superconductor/ferromagnet (S-F) heterostructures provides an exciting potential new class of device. The prototypical super-spintronic device is the superconducting spin-valve, where the critical temperature, Tc, of the S-layer can be controlled by the relative orientation of two (or more) F-layers. Here, we show that such control is also possible in a simple S/F bilayer. Using field history to set the remanent magnetic state of a thin Er layer, we demonstrate for a Nb/Er bilayer a high level of control of both Tc and the shape of the resistive transition, R(T), to zero resistance. We are able to model the origin of the remanent magnetization, treating it as an increase in the effective exchange field of the ferromagnet and link this, using conventional S-F theory, to the suppression of Tc. We observe stepped features in the R(T) which we argue is due to a fundamental interaction of superconductivity with inhomogeneous ferromagnetism, a phenomena currently lacking theoretical description.
Original languageEnglish
Article number044031
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review Applied
Issue number4
Early online date28 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


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