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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Dec 15;97(24):247001. Epub 2006 Dec 11.

0-pi Josephson tunnel junctions with ferromagnetic barrier.

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Center of Nanoelectronic Systems for Information Technology (CNI), Research Centre Jülich, D-52425 Jülich, Germany.


We fabricated high quality Nb/Al2O3/Ni(0.6)Cu(0.4)/Nb superconductor-insulator-ferromagnet-superconductor Josephson tunnel junctions. Using a ferromagnetic layer with a steplike thickness, we obtain a 0-pi junction, with equal lengths and critical currents of 0 and pi parts. The ground state of our 330 microm (1.3lambda(J)) long junction corresponds to a spontaneous vortex of supercurrent pinned at the 0-pi step and carrying approximately 6.7% of the magnetic flux quantum Phi(0). The dependence of the critical current on the applied magnetic field shows a clear minimum in the vicinity of zero field.

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