The Josephson effect provides a direct method to probe the strength of the pairing interaction in superconductors. By measuring the phase fluctuating Josephson current between a superconducting tip of a scanning tunneling microscope and a BCS superconductor with isolated magnetic adatoms on its surface, we demonstrate that the spatial variation of the pairing order parameter can be characterized on the atomic scale. This system provides an example where the local pairing potential suppression is not directly reflected in the spectra measured via quasiparticle tunneling. Spectroscopy with such superconducting tips also shows signatures of previously unexplored Andreev processes through individual impurity-bound Shiba states. The atomic resolution achieved here establishes scanning Josephson spectroscopy as a promising technique for the study of novel superconducting phases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics