Point-contact spectroscopy of the relaxation dynamics of two-level systems upon structural changes in Ni-Nb glasses

O. P. Balkashin, I. K. Yanson, A. Halbritter, G. Mihály

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The point-contact spectra (the energy dependence of the second derivatives of the current-voltage characteristics) of bimetal contacts of the amorphous alloy Ni59Nb41 with silver are investigated in the frequency range 103-5×109Hz. At low energies the spectral feature due to the scattering of conduction electrons on two-level tunneling systems in point contacts of the quenched alloy is clearly observed in the microwave region. This confirms the conclusion reached previously by the authors for homocontacts [O. P. Balkashin et al., Solid State Commun. 118, 623 (2001)] that rapidly relaxing two-level systems with a characteristic relaxation frequency Γ>1011Hz are present in metallic glasses. After a high-temperature annealing of the amorphous alloy (for 1 hour at T=800 °C) and its crystallization, the intensity of the spectral feature in the region of low voltages across the contact increases substantially. A sharp frequency dispersion of the amplitude of this feature is observed; it vanishes completely for measurements at frequencies below ∼5×109Hz. The data attest to the formation of qualitatively new, slowly relaxing two-level systems in the annealed Ni-Nb amorphous alloys. An estimate of the characteristic relaxation frequency of the two-level systems from the frequency dispersion of the measured signal gives a value Γ/2π≈0.7×109Hz. The possible causes of the formation of two-level systems in point contacts are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-129
Number of pages7
JournalLow Temperature Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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