Apparent spin polarization decay in Cu-dusted Co/Al203/Co tunnel junctions

P.R. LeClair, H.J.M. Swagten, J.T. Kohlhepp, R.J.M. Veerdonk, van de, W.J.M. Jonge, de

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Co/Al2O3/Co magnetic tunnel junctions with an interfacial Cu layer have been investigated with in situ growth characterization and ex situ magnetotransport measurements. Cu interlayers grown on Co give an approximately exponential decay of the tunneling magnetoresistance with ¿˜0.26 nm while those grown on Al2O3 have a decay length of 0.70 nm. The difference in decay lengths can be explained by different growth morphologies, and in this way clarifies a present disagreement in the literature. For monolayer coverage of Cu, we show that the tunneling spin polarization is suppressed by at least a factor of 2 compared to Co and beyond ˜5 ML it becomes vanishingly small.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2933-2936
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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