Volume 63, Number 3, August 2003
|Page(s)||419 - 425|
|Section||Condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties|
|Published online||01 November 2003|
Spin-polarized vacuum tunneling at small gap widths
Max-Planck Institut für Mikrostrukturphysik - Weinberg 2, 06120 Halle, Germany
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 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.
PACS: 72.25.Mk – Spin transport through interfaces / 68.37.Ef – Scanning tunneling microscopy (including chemistry induced with STM)
© EDP Sciences, 2003
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