skip to primary navigationskip to content

Superconducting Spintronics

Below the critical temperature of a superconductor, electrons form Cooper pairs with an antiparallel spin alignment, and are in a singlet spin state. In contrast to superconductivity, ferromagnetism leads to a parallel alignment of electron spins, so when electrons pass through a ferromagnetic material the electrical current is spin-polarised meaning that a singlet spin state is energetically unfavourable.


At a superconductor / ferromagnet (S/F) interface, a superconducting state can be induced in the ferromagnet, but in general only over a distance of a few nanometres. However, if the magnetisation vectors at the S/F interface are non-collinear with repect to the magnetisation vector in the ferromagnet, the superconducting state in the ferromagnet should be extended through a radically different electron interaction process. The non-collinear magnetism allows the electrons to remain as Cooper pairs, but with each electron of a pair having the same spin so they are in a triplet rather than singlet spin state; see figures A to C - solid and dashed curves represent the spatial dependence of the singlet and triplet pair correlations in F. Spin-aligned triplet pairs can pass deeply in a ferromagnet and possibly over hundreds of nanometres if the mean free path for spin-flip and scatter are sufficiently long, such as in a half-metallic  material in which only one spin channel is present. This project builds on our recent success in demonstrating evidence for triplet supercurrents in Nmagnetic Josephson junctions. The aim is to investigate triplet proximity effects in a variety of SC/FM material systems with a view to understanding them better so that the effects can be optimised and possibly exploited to make novel device architectures.


This research programme includes the following partners: Professor Mark Blamire (Cambridge); Professor James Annett (Bristol); Dr Sebastian Bergeret (San Sebastian, Spain); and Professor Oded Millo (Racah Institute of Physics, Israel). The research is funded by the Royal Society through a URF.

RSS Feed Latest news

Some superconductors can also carry currents of ‘spin’

Apr 27, 2018

We have shown that certain superconductors – materials that carry electrical current with zero resistance at very low temperatures – can also carry currents of ‘spin’. The successful combination of superconductivity and spin could lead to a revolution in high-performance computing, by dramatically reducing energy consumption.

Superconductivity offers tantalising changes from electricity to transport

Jan 10, 2018

Group's work on superconducting graphene on an oxide high temperature superconductor noted in the Financial Times

The Electron Manifesto

Oct 28, 2017

Focused article - Electron Manifesto - on group's work on superconducting spintronics in Research Horizons, the University of Cambridge’s research magazine.

The Electron Manifesto: transforming high performance computing with 'spintronics'

Aug 18, 2017

Electron ‘spin’ could hold the key to managing the world’s growing data demands without consuming huge amounts of energy. Now, researchers have shown that energy-efficient superconductors can power devices designed to achieve this. What once seemed an impossible marriage of superconductivity and spin may be about to transform high performance computing.

EPSRC-JSPS Core-to-Core

Apr 09, 2017

Awarded 5-year EPSRC-JSPS Core-to-Core Grant on "International network to explore novel superconductivity at advanced oxide superconductor/magnet interfaces and in nanodevices"

Graphene’s sleeping superconductivity awakens

Jan 25, 2017

Researchers have found a way to trigger the innate, but previously hidden, ability of graphene to act as a superconductor.

Wonderkoolstof grafeen blijkt ook supergeleider

Jan 25, 2017

de volkskrant discusses group's work on p-wave triggered superconductivity in single layer graphene

The Oxford Handbook of Small Superconductors

Jan 23, 2017

"The Oxford Handbook of Small Superconductors", Oxford University Press, is published (19 January)

Flash Physics: p-wave superconductivity in graphene

Jan 20, 2017

Physics World highlights group's work on p-wave superconductivity in graphene

Cambridge Uni spins up green and beefy super-computer project

Apr 18, 2016

Electron spin meets and marries superconductivity

Cambridge to research future computing tech that could “ignite a technology field”

Apr 15, 2016

A Cambridge-led project aiming to develop a new architecture for future computing based on superconducting spintronics - technology designed to increase the energy-efficiency of high-performance computers and data storage - has been announced.

Spintronics: making computers faster

Oct 12, 2015

Smaller, faster, cheaper - that was the trend in computing for the past 50 years. As microprocessor technology is hitting the limits of what’s physically possible, some researchers are exploring whether a new technology, ‘spintronics’, may be the way forward.

Nature North & West Europe

Jun 18, 2015

Strong spending and recruitment keep countries in this region near the top of the world's output in the Index, and scientists from universities collaborate more with their neighbours.

View all news