Tunneling through rare earth trihydroxide barriers

F. E. Stageberg, R. Cantor, A. M. Goldman, G. B. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Symmetric tunneling junctions with 4000 Å thick Pb electrodes and polycrystalline insulating barriers of Lu(OH)3, Er(OH)3, and Ho(OH)3 have been fabricated. In bulk, these three rare earth trihydroxides RE(OH)3 are nonmagnetic, antiferromagnetic (TN<1.1 K), and ferromagnetic (Tc=2.54 K), respectively. A three-fold splitting of the conductance peak at the gap was observed only in junctions with Ho(OH)3 barriers. The gap peak of junctions with Er(OH)3 barriers was broadened significantly relative to that of junctions with Lu(OH)3 barriers. From measurements of the temperature and magnetic field dependence of the tunneling conductance it is argued that the splitting in junctions with Ho(OH)3 barriers is consistent with the existence of a peak in the electronic density of states at an energy below that of the gap of each of the electrodes. This peak is believed to be the signature of a bound state near the barrier resulting from the exchange coupling between the electron spins of the superconductor and the localized spins of the barrier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-226
Number of pages3
JournalPhysica B+C
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 2 1985


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