Sudden critical current drops induced in S/F structures

E. J. Patino*, C. Bell, M. G. Blamire, Chris Bell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In the search for new physical properties of S/F structures, we have found that the superconductor critical current can be controlled by the domain state of the neighboring ferromagnet. The superconductor is a thin wire of thickness d(s) a parts per thousand 2 xi(S). Nb/Co and Nb/Py (Permalloy Ni80Fe20) bilayer structures were grown with a significant magnetic anisotropy. Critical current measurements of Nb/Co structures with ferromagnet thickness d(F) > 30 nm show sudden drops in two very defined steps when the measurements are made along the hard axes direction (i.e. current track parallel to hard anisotropy axes direction). These drops disappear when they are made along the easy axis direction or when the ferromagnet thickness is below 30 nm. The drops are accompanied by vortex flux flow. In addition magnetorestistance measurements close to T-C show a sharp increase near saturation fields of the ferromagnet. Similar results are reproduced in Nb/Py bilayer structure with the ferromagnet thickness d(F) similar to 50 nm along the easy anisotropy axes. These results are explained as being due to spontaneous vortex formation and flow induced by Bloch domain walls of the ferromagnet underneath. We argue these Bloch domain walls produce a 2D vortex-antivortex lattice structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-77
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Physical Journal B: Condensed Matter
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009



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