Spin accumulation induced by a singlet supercurrent
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionPhysical review B (PRB). 2020, 102 (10), . 10.1103/PhysRevB.102.100506
We show that a supercurrent carried by spinless singlet Cooper pairs can induce a spin accumulation in the normal metal interlayer of a Josephson junction. This phenomenon occurs when a nonequilibrium spin-energy mode is excited in the normal metal, for instance, by an applied temperature gradient between ferromagnetic electrodes. Without supercurrent, the spin accumulation vanishes in the Josephson junction. With supercurrent, a spatially antisymmetric spin accumulation is generated that can be measured by tunneling to a polarized detector electrode or by a nano-superconducting quantum interference device. We explain the physical origin of the induced spin accumulation by the combined effect of a Doppler shift induced by a flow of singlet Cooper pairs, and the spin-energy mode excited in the normal metal. This effect shows that spin control is possible even with singlet Cooper pairs in conventional superconductors, a finding which could open interesting perspectives in superconducting spintronics.