Observation of Andreev bound states in YBa2Cu3O7-d/Au/Nb ramp-type Josephson junctions

B. Chesca, D. Doenitz, T. Dahm, R.P. Huebener, D. Koelle, R. Kleiner, A. Ariando, H.J.H. Smilde, Johannes W.M. Hilgenkamp

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We report on Josephson and quasiparticle tunneling in YBa2Cu3O7-x(YBCO)/Au/Nb ramp junctions of several geometries. Macroscopically, tunneling is studied in the ab-plane of YBCO either in the (100) or (010) direction, or in the (110) direction. These junctions have a stable and macroscopically well defined geometry. This allows systematic investigations of both quasiparticle and Josephson tunneling over a wide range of temperatures and magnetic fields. With Nb superconducting, the proximity gap induced in the Au layer appears in the quasiparticle conductance spectra as well defined coherence peaks and a dip at the center of a broadened zero-bias conductance peak (ZBCP). The voltage position of the coherence peaks varies with Au layer thickness. As we increase the temperature or an applied magnetic field both the coherence peaks and the dip get suppressed and the ZBCP fully develops, while states are conserved. With Nb in the normal state the ZBCP is observed up to about 77 K and is almost unaffected by an increasing field up to 7 T. The measurements are consistent with a convolution of density of states with broadened Andreev bound states formed at the YBCO/Au/Nb junction interfaces. Since junctions with different geometries are fabricated on the same substrate under the same conditions one expects to extract reliable tunneling information that is crystallographic direction sensitive. In high contrast to Josephson tunneling, however, the quasiparticle conductance spectra are crystallographic orientation insensitive: independent whether the tunneling occurs in the (100) or (110) directions, a pronounced ZBCP is always observed, consistent with microscopic roughness of the junction interfaces. Qualitatively, all these particularities regarding quasiparticle spectra hold regardless whether the YBCO thin film is twinned or untwinned. This suggests that the formation of Andreev bound states is, to a first approximation, insensitive to twinning.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)014529-
JournalPhysical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • METIS-232474
  • IR-59099

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