4 years ago

Explicit proof of hole transport across a MgO-based magnetic tunnel junction due to oxygen vacancies.

W. Weber, J. Arabski, M. Alouani, F. Montaigne, E. Monteblanco, S. Boukari, L. M. Kandpal, E. Urbain, B. Taudul, M. Hehn, U. Halisdemir, K. Katcko, D. Lacour, M. Bowen, E. Beaurepaire, F. Schleicher

The quantum mechanical tunnelling process conserves the quantum properties of the particle considered. As applied to solid-state tunnelling (SST), this physical law was verified, within the field of spintronics, regarding the electron spin in early experiments across Ge tunnel barriers, and in the 90s across Al2O3 barriers. The conservation of the quantum parameter of orbital occupancy, as grouped into electronic symmetries, was observed in the '00s across MgO barriers, followed by SrTiO3 (STO). In the solid-state, an additional subtlety is the sign of the charge carrier: are holes or electrons involved in transport? We demonstrate that SST across MgO magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) involves holes by examining how shifting the MTJ's Fermi level alters the ensuing barrier heights defined by the barrier's oxygen vacancies. In the process, we consolidate the description of tunnel barrier heights induced by specific oxygen-vacancy induced localized states. This should provide important insight into spin transfer torque physics across MgO.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1711.05643

DOI: arXiv:1711.05643v1

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