Spin-orbit driven superconducting proximity effects in Pt/Nb thin films
Manipulating the spin state of thin layers of superconducting material is a promising route to generate dissipationless spin currents in spintronic devices. Approaches typically focus on using thin ferromagnetic elements to perturb the spin state of the superconducting condensate to create spin-triplet correlations. We have investigated simple structures that generate spin-triplet correlations without using ferromagnetic elements.
Scanning tunneling spectroscopy and muon-spin rotation are used to probe the local electronic and magnetic properties of our hybrid structures, demonstrating a paramagnetic contribution to the magnetization that partially cancels the Meissner screening. This spin-orbit generated magnetization is shown to derive from the spin of the equal-spin pairs rather than from their orbital motion and is an important development in the field of superconducting spintronics.