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Nanoscale interplay of Superconductivity and Ferromagnetism in thin films


Superconductivity (S) and Ferromagnetism (F) are of antagonistic characters and they hardly coexist together at the macroscopic level due to the incompatible nature of their electronic states. However, in thin film heterostructures a range of complex states can arise as a result of the mutual interaction between the two order parameters. Despite the enormous interest in this area, there are very few techniques capable of measuring the spatial variation of magnetic flux density perpendicular to the plane of the film. This is of specific interest to understand the nature of magnetic interaction occurring in the close vicinity of the F/S interfaces. The use of microscopic probes like neutron and muon could be potentially useful to address this problem. Polarised neutron reflectivity (PNR) technique involves specular reflection of spin polarised neutrons from the surface of a thin film and is sensitive to the spatial change of magnetisation perpendicular to the plane of the film. In the Low energy muon spin rotation (LE-μSR) technique, the spin polarisation of muons are used to measure the distribution of internal magnetic fields at different thickness of the sample by way of tuning the implantation energy of the incoming muons. In this talk, successful use of these two techniques to understand the coupling between the two order parameters in mutilayered F/S systems will be presented.