In situ scanning tunneling microscopy observations of polycrystalline MgO(001) tunneling barriers grown on amorphous CoFeB electrode

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

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6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Topological surface analysis using in situ scanning tunneling microscopy was performed for highly oriented polycrystalline (textured) MgO(001) tunneling barrier layers grown on amorphous CoFeB electrode layers. The microscopy revealed a MgO surface structure in which nanosized grains were dispersed on clusters that originated from the CoFeB underlayer. In situ annealing reduced this surface roughness. Local tunneling spectroscopy measurements revealed the formation of a nearly perfect and uniform tunneling barrier in spite of grain boundaries in the textured MgO(001) layer, which is consistent with the fact that textured CoFeBMgOCoFeB and fully epitaxial MgO-based magnetic tunnel junctions exhibit comparable spin-dependent tunneling properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012507
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume91
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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