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We report spin-dependent electron density of states (DOS) studies of ultrathin superconducting Al and Be films in high parallel magnetic fields. Superconductor-insulator-superconductor (SIS) tunneling spectra are presented in which both the film and the counterelectrode are in the paramagnetic limit. This SIS configuration is exquisitely sensitive to spin mixing and/or spin flip processes which are manifest as DOS singularities at [Formula presented]. Both our Al and Be data show a well defined subgap peak whose magnitude grows dramatically as the parallel critical field is approached. Though this feature has previously been attributed to spin-orbit scattering, it is more consistent with fluctuations into a field induced mixed-spin state. © 2004 The American Physical Society.

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Physical Review Letters