Imaging of order parameter induced $\pi$ phase shifts in cuprate superconductors by low-temperature scanning electron microscopy

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Authors
Gürlich, Christian
Goldobin, Edward
Straub, Rainer
Doenitz, Dietmar
Ariando
Smilde, Henk-Jan H.
Hilgenkamp, Hans
Kleiner, Reinhold
Koelle, Dieter
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Abstract
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Low-temperature scanning electron microscopy (LTSEM) has been used to image the supercurrent distribution in ramp-type Josephson junctions between Nb and either the electron-doped cuprate Nd$_{2-x}$Ce$_x$CuO$_{4-y}$ or the hole-doped cuprate YBa$_2$Cu$_3$O$_7$. For zigzag-shaped devices in the short junction limit the critical current is strongly suppressed at zero applied magnetic field. The LTSEM images show, that this is due to the Josephson current counterflow in neighboring 0 and $\pi$ facets, which is induced by the $d_{x^2-y^2}$ order parameter in the cuprates. Thus, LTSEM provides imaging of the sign change of the superconducting order parameter, which can also be applied to other types of Josephson junctions.
Comment: 4 pages, 3 figures
Keywords
Condensed Matter - Superconductivity
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