Coexistence of superconductivity and ferromagnetism in the d-band metal ZrZn2

C. Pfleiderer, M. Uhlarz, S. M. Hayden, R. Vollmer, H. V. Löhneysen, N. R. Bernhoeft, G. G. Lonzarich

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439 Scopus citations

Abstract

It has generally been believed that, within the context of the Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer (BCS) theory of superconductivity, the conduction electrons in a metal cannot be both ferromagnetically ordered and superconducting. Even when the superconductivity has been interpreted as arising from magnetic mediation of the paired electrons, it was thought that the superconducting state occurs in the paramagnetic phase. Here we report the observation of superconductivity in the ferromagnetically ordered phase of the d-electron compound ZrZn2. The specific heat anomaly associated with the superconducting transition in this material appears to be absent, and the superconducting state is very sensitive to defects, occurring only in very pure samples. Under hydrostatic pressure superconductivity and ferromagnetism disappear at the same pressure, so the ferromagnetic state appears to be a prerequisite for superconductivity. When combined with the recent observation of superconductivity in UGe2 (ref. 4), our results suggest that metallic ferromagnets may universally become superconducting when the magnetization is small.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-61
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume412
Issue number6842
DOIs
StatePublished - 5 Jul 2001
Externally publishedYes

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