Imaging of order parameter induced pi phase shifts in cuprate superconductors by low-temperature scanning electron microscopy

Christian Gürlich, Edward Goldobin, Rainer Straub, Dietmar Doenitz, A. Ariando, H.J.H. Smilde, Johannes W.M. Hilgenkamp, Reinhold Kleiner, Dieter Koelle

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Low-temperature scanning electron microscopy (LTSEM) has been used to image the supercurrent distribution in ramp-type Josephson junctions between Nb and either the electron-doped cuprate Nd2-xCexCuO4-y or the hole-doped cuprate YBa2Cu3O7. For zigzag-shaped devices in the short junction limit the critical current is strongly suppressed at zero applied magnetic field. The LTSEM images show that this is due to the Josephson current counterflow in neighboring 0 and π facets, which is induced by the dx2-y2 order parameter in the cuprates. Thus, LTSEM provides imaging of the sign change of the superconducting order parameter, which can also be applied to other types of Josephson junctions.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)067011-
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • IR-73637
  • METIS-261976

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