Volume 39, Number 2, July II 1997
|Page(s)||219 - 224|
|Section||Condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic and optical properties|
|Published online||01 September 2002|
Resonance in tunneling through magnetic valve tunnel junctions
CEA, Departement de Recherche Fondamentale sur la Matière Condensée,
SP2M/NM - 38054 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
2 Department of Physics, Moscow Lomonosov University, Moscow, 119699, Russia
3 Laboratoire Louis Néel, CNRS - BP 166, 38042 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
Accepted: 16 June 1997
We present a quantum-statistical theory of electron tunneling in systems of the form MPO(P)M', where M and M' represent ferromagnetic transition metal layers, P are metallic non-magnetic layers and O is an oxide tunnel barrier one to a few nanometers thick. This system is a model of the magnetic tunnel junctions recently studied by Moodera (Moodera J. S. et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 74 (1995) 3273; J. Appl. Phys., 79 (1996) 4724). We show that the presence of a thin non-magnetic layer between the magnetic electrodes and the barrier can lead to the formation of quantum well states adjacent to the barrier. For particular thicknesses, resonance effect can occur leading to much higher tunnel conductance and magnetoresistance than without the non-magnetic layer. The unidimensional character induced by the tunneling process increases significantly the sharpness of these resonances.
PACS: 75.70.-i – Magnetic films and multilayers / 73.50.Jt – Galvanomagnetic and other magnetotransport effects (including thermomagnetic effects) / 85.30.Mn – Junction breakdown and tunneling devices (including resonance tunneling devices)
© EDP Sciences, 1997
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