Atomically flat aluminum-oxide barrier layers constituting magnetic tunnel junctions observed by in situ scanning tunneling microscopy

Masaki Mizuguchi, Y. Suzuki, T. Nagahama, S. Yuasa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Observation using in situ scanning tunneling microscopy of the layers constituting a magnetic tunnel junction with a naturally oxidized aluminum barrier layer revealed an extremely flat aluminum-oxide surface. It was clarified from line-scan images that the aluminum-oxide barrier layer has atomic steps. This flatness, which is surprising given that the aluminum-oxide film is amorphous, reduced electron scattering within the barrier, leading to momentum-dependent tunneling, which should enable the fabrication of advanced devices, such as spin-polarized resonant tunneling transistors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number171909
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume87
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Oct 24
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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