Controlling supercurrents and their spatial distribution in ferromagnets
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNature Communications. 2017, 8:2056. 10.1038/s41467-017-02236-2
Spin-triplet Cooper pairs induced in ferromagnets form the centrepiece of the emerging field of superconducting spintronics. Usually the focus is on the spin-polarization of the triplets, potentially enabling low-dissipation magnetization switching. However, the magnetic texture which provides the fundamental mechanism for generating triplets also permits control over the spatial distribution of supercurrent. Here we demonstrate the tailoring of distinct supercurrent pathways in the ferromagnetic barrier of a Josephson junction. We combine micromagnetic simulations with three-dimensional supercurrent calculations to design a disk-shaped structure with a ferromagnetic vortex which induces two transport channels across the junction. By using superconducting quantum interferometry, we show the existence of two channels. Moreover, we show how the supercurrent can be controlled by moving the vortex with a magnetic field. This approach paves the way for supercurrent paths to be dynamically reconfigured in order to switch between different functionalities in the same device.