University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy
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Oriol T. Valls

Angular dependence of superconductivity in spin-valve/superconductor heterostructures
A.A. Jara, C. Safranski, I.N. Krivorotov, C.-T. Wu, A.N. Malmi-Kakkadi, O.T. Valls, K. Halterman, Phys. Rev. B 89, 184502 (2014)

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We report measurements of the superconducting transition temperature, $T_c$, in CoO/Co/Cu/Co/Nb multilayers as a function of the angle $\alpha$ between the magnetic moments of the Co layers. Our measurements reveal that $T_c(\alpha)$ is a non-monotonic function, with a minimum near $\alpha={\pi}/{2}$. Numerical self-consistent solutions %otvr of the Bogoliubov - de Gennes equations quantitatively and accurately describe the behavior of $T_c$ as a function of $\alpha$ and layer thicknesses in these superconductor / spin valve heterostructures. We show that experimental data and theoretical evidence agree in relating $T_c(\alpha)$ to enhanced penetration of the triplet component of the condensate into the Co/Cu/Co spin valve in the maximally non-collinear magnetic configuration.