Crossover between superconductivity and magnetism in SrRuO3 mesocrystal embedded YBa2Cu3O7−x heterostructures
The competition between superconductivity and ferromagnetism poses great challenges and has attracted renewed interest for applications in novel spintronic devices. In order to emphasize their interactions, we fabricated a heterostructure composed of superconducting YBa2Cu3O7−δ (YBCO) film embedded with itinerant ferromagnetic SrRuO3 (SRO) mesocrystals. Starting from a doping concentration of 10 vol% of SRO mesocrystal in a YBCO matrix, corresponding to the density of SRO nanocrystals ∼5 × 109 cm−2, which exhibits the typical characteristic of a metal–superconductor transition, and then increasing the magnetic interactions as a function of SRO embedment, the electronic correlation and the interplay between superconductivity and magnetism throughout the temperature regime were investigated. A metal–insulator transition in the normal state of YBCO and a crossover between superconductivity and magnetism at low temperatures were found upon increasing the density of nano-size SRO crystallites in the YBCO matrix as a consequence of competing interactions between these two ordered phases.