Volume 80, Number 1, October 2007
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Electronic Structure, Electrical, Magnetic and Optical Properties|
|Published online||20 September 2007|
Spin polarization at ferromagnet-insulator interfaces: The important role of stoichiometry in MgO/Fe(001)
Institut für Festkörperforschung IFF-9 “Elektronische Eigenschaften”, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH D-52425 Jülich, Germany
Accepted: 20 August 2007
The electronic structure of ferromagnet-insulator interfaces plays a key role in spin-dependent transport processes by determining the spin polarization of the tunneling charge carriers. Employing spin-polarized, angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy we studied the spin-resolved electronic structure in the model system MgO/Fe(001) and observed a surprisingly multifaceted influence of the MgO stoichiometry. In particular, oxygen-deficient MgO barriers are found to strongly enhance the interfacial spin polarization. The results highlight the important role of the specific nature of the oxygen bonding and its relevance for the tunnel magnetoresistance effect.
PACS: 73.20.-r – Electron states at surfaces and interfaces / 73.40.Rw – Metal-insulator-metal structures / 73.40.Gk – Tunneling
© Europhysics Letters Association, 2007
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