Volume 88, Number 4, November 2009
Article Number 47006
Number of page(s) 5
Section Condensed Matter: Electronic Structure, Electrical, Magnetic and Optical Properties
Published online 02 December 2009
EPL, 88 (2009) 47006
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/88/47006

Exchange splitting and bias-dependent transport in EuO spin filter tunnel barriers

Martina Müller1, 2, Guo-Xing Miao1 and Jagadeesh S. Moodera1

1   Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
2   Institute of Solid State Research, Research Centre Jülich - 52428 Jülich, Germany, EU

received 27 July 2009; accepted in final form 3 November 2009; published November 2009
published online 2 December 2009

We report on transport measurements in EuO-based tunnel junctions, studying the characteristic features of spin filter tunneling in magnetic insulators. Current-voltage (I-V) curves show a unique voltage dependence that reveals the interplay between direct and spin-selective Fowler-Nordheim (FN) tunneling. Successive onsets of FN tunneling give direct evidence for a spin filtering effect, without relying on the use of external magnetic fields for spin detection. The variation of the effective tunnel barrier height below the Curie temperature was extracted from temperature-dependent I-V characteristics, and systematically correlates with the spontaneous magnetization of EuO. The magnitude of the exchange splitting was deduced and allows the evaluation of spin filter efficiency of EuO spin filter tunnel barriers by fully electrical means.

72.25.-b - Spin polarized transport.
73.43.Qt - Magnetoresistance.
75.50.Pp - Magnetic semiconductors.

© EPLA 2009