Interfacial density of states in magnetic tunnel junctions

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

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Large zero-bias resistance anomalies as well as a collapse of magnetoresistance were observed in Co/Al2O3/Co magnetic tunnel junctions with thin Cr interfacial layers. The tunnel magnetoresistance decays exponentially with nominal Cr interlayer thickness with a length scale of ~1 Å more than twice as fast as for Cu interlayers. The strong suppression of magnetoresistance, as well as the zero-bias anomalies, can be understood by considering a strong spin-dependent modification of the density of states at Co/Cr interfaces. The role of the interfacial density of states is shown by the use of specially engineered structures. Similar effects are predicted and observed in junctions with Ru interfacial layers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1066-1069
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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