Josephson current in a superconductor -- ferromagnet -- superconductor junction with in-plane ferromagnetic domains

We study a diffusive superconductor--ferromagnet--superconductor (SFS) junction with in-plane ferromagnetic domains. Close to the superconducting transition temperature, we describe the proximity effect in the junction with the linearized Usadel equations. We find that properties of such a junction depend on the size of the domains relative to the magnetic coherence length. In the case of large domains, the junction exhibits transitions to the $\pi$ state, similarly to a single-domain SFS junction. In the case of small domains, the magnetization effectively averages out, and the junction is always in the zero state, similarly to a superconductor--normal metal--superconductor (SNS) junction. In both those regimes, the influence of domain walls may be approximately described as an effective spin-flip scattering. We also study the inhomogeneous distribution of the local current density in the junction. Close to the 0--$\pi$ transitions, the directions of the critical current may be opposite in the vicinity of the domain wall and in the middle of the domains.

Published in:
Phys. Rev. B 76, 134502 (2007)

 Record created 2011-05-20, last modified 2018-03-17

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