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We present current noise measurements in a long diffusive superconductor-normal-metal-superconductor junction in the low voltage regime, in which transport can be partially described in terms of coherent multiple Andreev reflections. We show that, when decreasing voltage, the current noise exhibits a strong divergence together with a broad peak. We ascribe this peak to the mixing between the ac- Josephson current and the noise of the junction itself. We show that the junction noise corresponds to the thermal noise of a nonlinear resistor 4kBT=R with R V = I V and no adjustable parameters.
We investigate hysteresis in the transport properties of Superconductor - Normal metal - Superconductor (S-N-S) junctions at low temperatures by measuring directly the electron temperature in the normal metal. Our results demonstrate unambiguously that the hysteresis results from an increase of the normal metal electron temperature once the junction switches to the resistive state. In our geometry, the electron temperature increase is governed by the thermal resistance of the superconducting electrodes of the junction.
We discuss inherent thermometry in a Superconductor - Normal metal - Superconductor tunnel junction. In this configuration, the energy selectivity of single-particle tunneling can provide a significant electron cooling, depending on the bias voltage. The usual approach for measuring the electron temperature consists in using an additional pair of superconducting tunnel junctions as probes. In this paper, we discuss our experiment performed on a different design with no such thermometer. The quasi-equilibrium in the central metallic island is discussed in terms of a kinetic equation including injection and relaxation terms. We determine the electron temperature by comparing the micro-cooler experimental current-voltage characteristic with isothermal theoretical predictions. The limits of validity of this approach, due to the junctions...
We study the transport properties of a quasi-two-dimensional diffusive normal metal film attached to a superconductor. We demonstrate that the properties of such films can essentially differ from those of quasi-one-dimensional systems: in the presence of the proximity induced superconductivity in a sufficiently wide film its conductance may not only increase but also decrease with temperature. We develop a quantitative theory and discuss the physical nature of this effect. Our theory provides a natural explanation for recent experimental findings referred to as the ``anomalous proximity effect''.
We have studied hybrid superconducting micro-coolers made of a double Superconductor-Insulator-Normal metal tunnel junction. Under subgap conditions, the Andreev current is found to dominate the single-particle tunnel current. We show that the Andreev current introduces additional dissipation in the normal metal equivalent to Joule heating. By analyzing quantitatively the heat balance in the system, we provide a full description of the evolution of the electronic temperature with the voltage. The dissipation induced by the Andreev current is found to dominate the quasiparticle tunneling-based cooling over a large bias range.
We discuss very low temperature experiments on superconducting micro-coolers made of a double Normal metal - Insulator - Superconductor junction. We investigate with a high resolution the differential conductance of the micro-cooler as well as of additional probe junctions. There is an explicit crossover between the single quasi-particle current and the phase-coherent Andreev current. We establish a thermal model by considering the thermal contribution due to the Andreev current. The related increase of the electron temperature is discussed, including the influence of several parameters like the phase-coherence length or the tunnel junction transparency.
We have measured the transport properties of Ferromagnet - Superconductor nanostructures, where two superconducting aluminum (Al) electrodes are connected through two ferromagnetic iron (Fe) ellipsoids in parallel. We find that, below the superconducting critical temperature of Al, the resistance depends on the relative alignment of the ferromagnets' magnetization. This spin-valve effect is analyzed in terms of spin accumulation in the superconducting electrode submitted to inverse proximity effect.
Scanning tunneling spectroscopies are performed below 100~mK on nano-crystalline boron-doped diamond films characterized by Transmission Electron Microscopy and transport measurements. We demonstrate a strong correlation between the local superconductivity strength and the granular structure of the films. The study of the spectral shape, amplitude and temperature dependence of the superconductivity gap enables us to differentiate intrinsically superconducting grains that follow the BCS model, from grains showing a different behavior involving the superconducting proximity effect.
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