Dielectric breakdown of ferromagnetic tunnel junctions

W. Oepts, H.J. Verhagen, W.J.M. Jonge, de, R. Coehoorn

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Abstract

The time-dependent dielectric breakdown of Co/Al2O3/Co(-Fe) magnetic tunnel junctions is investigated. At voltages larger than 1.2 V, almost immediate breakdown of the junction is observed, leading to a decreased (magneto)resistance. The shorts, which are local hot spots, were visualized by making use of a liquid crystal film on top of the junction. The breakdown voltages of a series of nominally identical tunnel junctions measured in a voltage-ramp experiment are shown to increase with increasing ramp speed. The results are analyzed in the framework of several models for the voltage dependent breakdown probability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2363-2365
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume73
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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