Andreev reflection point-contact spectroscopy is performed on a bilayer consisting of 50-nm degenerately doped Si backed with Nb. Due to the short mean free path both injection into and transport across the Si layer are diffusive, in contrast to the ballistic conditions prevailing in clean metal layers. Nevertheless a large Andreev signal is observed in the point-contact characteristics, not reduced by elastic scattering in the Si layer or by interface scattering, but only limited by the transmission coefficient of the metal-semiconductor point contact. Two peaks in the Andreev reflection probability are visible, marking the values of the superconducting energy gap at the interface on the Nb and Si sides. This interpretation is supported by a method of solving the Bogolubov equations analytically using a simplified expression for the variation of the order parameter close to the interface. This observation enables a comparison with theoretical predictions of the gap discontinuity in the proximity effect. It is found that the widely used de Gennes model does not agree with the experimental data.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics