By making a combination of both point contact and barrier type tunnel junctions on a single sample of the highTc superconductor BSCCO (2212) single crystal, we have shown that as the tunneling tip is slowly retracted from the surface a point contact junction gradually evolves from a N-S short to a high resistance tunnel junction. The scaled dynamic conductance (dI/dV) of this point contact tunnel junction becomes almost identical to that of a conventional barrier type tunnel junction and both show a linear dI/dV —V curve. The observation implies that at high resistance a point contact junction behaves in the same way as a barrier type tunnel junction. We suggested that the almost linear tunneling conductance obtained in both the cases most likely arises due to an intrinsic characteristic of the surface of the crystal comprising of a mosaic of superconducting regions of the order of a few nanometers. We also conclude that the barrierless (N-S) point contact obtained by piercing the surface oxide layer of the crystal shows Andreev reflection which we suggest as the origin of the zero bias anomaly often observed in point contact junctions.
Volume 94, 2020
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