Magnetic tunnel junctions with yttrium oxide barrier

Dimopoulos, T.; Gieres, G.; Colis, S.; Wecker, J.; Luo, Y.; Samwer, K.
October 2003
Applied Physics Letters;10/20/2003, Vol. 83 Issue 16, p3338
Academic Journal
Magnetic tunnel junctions have been studied, with YO[sub x] barriers prepared by plasma oxidation of a 1.5 nm Y film. We report their junction area resistance, tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) and barrier parameters (height and thickness) as a function of the oxidation time. For the optimum oxidation time, TMR values of ∼25% are obtained at room temperature and ∼44% at low temperature (5 K). The barrier height extracted from the current–voltage curves, is close to 1 eV, which is less than half of what is usually reported for AlO[sub x]-based junctions. Structural and topographical characterization of the multilayes revealed that the YO[sub x] layer is amorphous with well-defined, smooth, and correlated interfaces with the ferromagnetic electrodes. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.


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