We present experimental results concerning both the fabrication and characterization of superconducting tunnel junctions containing superconductor/ferromagnet (S/F) bilayers made by niobium (S) and a weak ferromagnetic Ni0.50Cu0.50 alloy. Josephson junctions have been characterized down to T=1.4 K in terms of current-voltage I-V characteristics and Josephson critical current versus magnetic field. By means of a numerical deconvolution of the I-V data the electronic density of states on both sides of the S/F bilayer has been evaluated at low temperatures. Results have been compared with theoretical predictions from a proximity model for S/F bilayers in the dirty limit in the framework of Usadel equations for the S and F layers, respectively. The main physical parameters characterizing the proximity effect in the Nb/NiCu bilayer, such as the coherence length and the exchange field energy of the F metal, and the S/F interface parameters have been also estimated.
|Journal||Physical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|