Scanning tunneling spectroscopy study ofc-axis proximity effect in epitaxial bilayer manganite/cuprate thin films Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Recent experimental studies have indicated novel superconducting proximity effects in thin-film heterostructures comprising ferromagnetic manganites and superconducting cuprates. To look for such effects microscopically, we performed scanning tunneling spectroscopy on La$_{2/3}$Ca$_{1/3}$MnO$_3$/YBa$_2$Cu$_3$O$_{7-\delta}$ (LCMO/YBCO) bilayer thin films. $\emph{c}$-axis oriented films of varying thickness were grown on SrTiO$_{3}$ substrates using pulsed laser-ablated deposition. Heteroepitaxiality of the films was confirmed by cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy. Tunneling spectra were measured at 4.2 K, and analyzed for signatures of a pairing gap on the LCMO layer. For bilayer samples with LCMO thickness down to 5nm, asymmetric conductance spectra characteristic of single-layer LCMO films were observed, showing no clear gap structures. These observations are consistent with a very short-range proximity effect involving spin-singlet pairs, and difficult to reconcile with longer-range proximity scenarios involving spin-triplet pairs.

publication date

  • September 29, 2011