Origin of large magnetocurrent in three-terminal double-barrier magnetic tunnel junctions
Journal of Applied Physics
American Institute of Physics
Double-barrier magnetic tunnel junctions (DBMTJs) of composition Co/AlOx/Co/AlOx/Ni81Fe19 have been fabricated by magnetron sputtering through shadow masks. Two terminal measurements made upon the individual tunnel barriers revealed nonlinear I–V curves and significant room-temperature tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) in all cases. Measurements were also performed with connections made to all three electrodes. The TMR of a particular tunnel barrier within the DBMTJ can be strongly modified by applying a bias voltage to the other barrier, while the TMR measured across the two barriers in series decreases more slowly with increasing bias voltage than for a single barrier. With zero bias applied between the central Co base electrode and the Co collector electrode, the collector current was measured as electrons were injected from the Ni81Fe19 electrode. For structures grown on Si/SiO2 substrates, the collector current showed a nonmonotonic dependence upon the emitter-base bias voltage, and collector magnetocurrent values in excess of 100% were observed at nonzero emitter-base bias values. For structures grown on quartz the collector current increased while the magnetocurrent decreased with increasing emitter-base voltage. We suggest that the enhanced TMR and magnetocurrent effects can be explained by substrate leakage and geometrical artifacts rather than by transport of spin-polarized hot electrons across the base layer.
Copyright © 2005 American Institute of Physics
Vol. 97 (10) article 104512