It is well known that an applied magnetic field to a superconducting material produces a diamagnetic response due to the induced screening currents.

Neutrons used as a probe for magnetism and crystal structure interact with nuclear spins as well as unpaired electron spins in orbitals. Would they "see" the effect of the screening current if a magnetic field is applied? More generally, do they not interact with the Cooper pairs since they are by definition closely paired electrons, with total spin 0?

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    $\begingroup$ A deleted answer recommended this publication. $\endgroup$
    – rob
    Aug 15, 2016 at 19:21
  • $\begingroup$ This paper is very useful for my research, thankyou (and whoever originally posted it) so much! $\endgroup$ Aug 16, 2016 at 11:50
  • $\begingroup$ Can you explain 'neutrons interact with unpaired electron spins in orbitals'? If I understood this sentence, I may have a answer... $\endgroup$
    – jaromrax
    Mar 16, 2017 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


Yes - please see https://kops.uni-konstanz.de/bitstream/handle/123456789/5359/322_physicaB_1998.pdf .

Polarized neutron reflectometry was used for the direct measurement of the magnetic-field penetration depth in a high-temperature (HT,) superconducting film. Two scattering geometries were used. The deduced neutron scattering length density profile gave an exact picture of the composition of the film. The fit to the spin-asymmetry yielded a magnetic-penetration depth of 1400 2 100 A at a temperature of T = 4.8 K along the c-axis oriented perpendicular to the film surface. The model included an intrinsic exponential decay of the penetration depth. For the first time the spin-asymmetry was determined with high resolution over an extended Q-range for a HT,-film. Nb-films were investigated as reference.


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