Abstract and Keywords
This article investigates the proximity effect on small length and energy scales in novel low-dimensional systems using in situ fabricated superconducting nanostructures (SNSs) and scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/STS) techniques. After a brief historical review of research on superconductivity and the proximity effect, the article describes how to build a variety of in situ superconducting hybrid nanostructures and how to investigate the proximity density of states with the help of STM/STS. It then considers the proximity effect in a correlated 2D disordered metal and in diffusive SNS junctions before discussing proximity Josephson vortices. It also examines the proximity effect between two dissimilar superconductors and concludes by highlighting several fundamental problems related to proximity effect in the framework of quasiclassical microscopic Usadel theory.
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