Chirality-controlled spontaneous currents in spin-orbit coupled superconducting rings
Authors: Robinson J. W. A., Samokhvalov and Buzdin A
Phys. Rev. B 99, 180501 (R) (2019)
Abstract: At a superconductor interface with a ferromagnetic insulator (FI), the FI acts to induce a local exchange field within the S layer, which in the presence of spin-orbit interaction promotes a phase- modulated superconducting state. Here we demonstrate that within a thin superconducting loop that is partially proximitized by a FI, spontaneous currents form with a magnetization-orientation-dependent chirality with sizable shifts in Little-Parks oscillations. Furthermore, the critical temperature of the loop is also magnetization-orientation-dependent and conversely, the superconducting transition itself may influence the magnetization direction. More generally, the superconducting region above the FI serves as a “phase battery” and so offers a new device concept for superconducting spintronics.