Microscopic structures of MgO barrier layers in single-crystal Fe/MgO/Fe magnetic tunnel junctions showing giant tunneling magnetoresistance

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The microscopic structures of MgO(001) barrier layers in magnetic tunnel junctions showing giant tunneling magnetoresistance were characterized by in situ scanning tunneling microscopy. The MgO thin films formed exceedingly flat surfaces, and their terraces were made even flatter by annealing after deposition. This flattening of MgO surfaces apparently promotes coherent transport of electrons, which should enhance the tunneling magnetoresistance ratio. Local tunneling spectroscopy revealed that an annealed MgO layer has a critical thickness between 3 and 5 ML (monolayer), and a continuous film without pinholes can be formed over the thickness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number251901
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume88
Issue number25
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jun 19
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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