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

Q. L. Ma, S. G. Wang, J. Zhang, Yan Wang, R. C.C. Ward, C. Wang, A. Kohn, X. G. Zhang, X. F. Han

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Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number052506
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume95
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Funding

FundersFunder number
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
National Natural Science Foundation of China60871048, 10874225, 50721001
Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China2006CB932200
National Key Research and Development Program of China2009CB929203

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