Temperature dependence of resistance in epitaxial Fe/MgO/Fe magnetic tunnel junctions

Ma, Q. L.; Wang, S. G.; Zhang, J.; Yan Wang; Ward, R. C. C.; Wang, C.; Kohn, A.; Zhang, X.-G.; Han, X. F.
August 2009
Applied Physics Letters;8/3/2009, Vol. 95 Issue 5, p052506
Academic Journal
The temperature dependence of resistance in parallel (P) and antiparallel (AP) configurations (RP,AP) has been investigated in epitaxial Fe/MgO/Fe junctions with varying MgO barrier thicknesses tMgO. RAP exhibits a substantial decrease with increasing temperature for samples with tMgO ranging from 3.0 to 1.5 nm. In contrast, RP is approximately temperature independent when tMgO=3.0 nm and increases with temperature when tMgO=2.1 and 1.5 nm. Possible origins of this temperature dependence of resistance, which include taking into account a spin independent term and consideration of spin-flip scattering, are discussed. We attribute the temperature dependence of RP,AP to the misalignment of magnetic moments in the electrodes due to thermal excitations and its effect on the spin dependent tunneling.


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