J. Phys. I France
Volume 6, Numéro 4, April 1996
Page(s) 529 - 555
DOI: 10.1051/jp1:1996228
J. Phys. I France 6 (1996) 529-555

Quantum Interference and the Spin Orbit Interaction in Mesoscopic Normal-Superconducting Junctions

Keith Slevin1, Jean-Louis Pichard1 and Pier A. Mello2

1  Service de Physique de l'État Condensé, CEA-Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
2  Instituto de Fisica, UNAM, Apartado Postal 20-364, 01000 Mexico D.F.

(Received 18 July 1995, revised 14 November 1995, accepted 4 January 1996)

We calculate the quantum correction to the classical conductance of a disordered mesoscopic normal-superconducting (NS) junction in which the electron spatial and spin degrees of freedom are coupled by an appreciable spin orbit interaction. We use random matrix theory to describe the scattering in the normal part of the junction and consider both quasi-ballistic and diffusive junctions. the dependence of the junction conductance on the Schottky barrier transparency at the NS interface is also considered. We find that the quantum correction is sensitive to the breaking of spin rotation symmetry even when the junction is in a magnetic field and time reversal symmetry is broken. We demonstrate that this sensitivity is due to quantum interference between scattering processes which involve electrons and holes traversing closed loops in the same direction. We explain why such processes are sensitive to the spin orbit interaction but not to a magnetic field. Finally we consider the effect of the spin orbit interaction on the phenomenon of "reflectionless tunnelling".

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