Journal of Low Temperature Physics

Tomasch effect and superconducting proximity

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Tunneling conductance measurements (dI/dV)(V) on thick and clean super-conducting films (S1) backed by normal metals (M2) show geometrical resonance effects, which have been associated with the variation δΔ(x) of the pair potential near the interface. We analyze both theoretically and experimentally the three factors involved in the resonance effect on S1/M1 sandwiches where one of the films is superconducting. The first factor, period, has already received considerable attention and is connected with the ratio VF*/d1 of the renormalized Fermi velocity and the thickness d1 of the film S1. We show that generally subharmonic effects, related to multiple interference effects, are expected. This result is demonstrated experimentally on Pb/M2 sandwiches. The phase depends on the sign of δΔ(x), the detailed shape of its variation, and on the nature of the tunneling process. Unfortunately the interplay among these parameters is difficult to analyze, although directive tunneling is found to fit better with experiments than the generally assumed diffuse tunneling. The amplitude of the resonance should be proportional to the change of δΔ(x). The ambiguity in the experimental results is pointed out and an experiment that shows clearly the role of the superconducting proximity mechanisms is described where the proximity on several simultaneously prepared Pb/Al films is controlled by deposition of various third upper layers. The theoretical discussion is an extension of the Ishii matrix formulation, itself based on an application of the Andreev scattering process. © 1976 Plenum Publishing Corporation.


01 Sep 1976


Journal of Low Temperature Physics