Europhys. Lett., 63 (3) , pp. 419-425 (2003)
Spin-polarized vacuum tunneling at small gap widthsH. F. Ding, W. Wulfhekel, U. Schlickum and J. Kirschner
Max-Planck Institut für Mikrostrukturphysik - Weinberg 2, 06120 Halle, Germany firstname.lastname@example.org
(Received 17 September 2002; accepted in final form 5 June 2003)
We studied spin-polarized tunneling through a vacuum barrier using spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy on . By varying the tip-to-sample distance in a controlled way, the tunneling magnetoresistance, i.e., the tunneling current asymmetry for parallel and antiparallel configuration of tip and sample magnetization, was measured as a function of the gap width. At large gap widths the asymmetry is constant. At gap widths below , a drop of the asymmetry was found in contrast to predictions of the Jullière model. The drop of the current asymmetry in spin-polarized tunneling is found to correlate with drop of the imaginary electron momentum inside the barrier and we compare our experimental results with the predictions of the Slonczewski model.
72.25.Mk - Spin transport through interfaces.
68.37.Ef - Scanning tunneling microscopy (including chemistry induced with STM).
© EDP Sciences 2003