Publications Repository - Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

1 Publication
Effect of insertion layer on electrode properties in magnetic tunnel junctions with a zero-moment half-metal
Titova, A.; Fowley, C.; Clifford, E.; Lau, Y.-C.; Borisov, K.; Betto, D.; Atcheson, G.; Hübner, R.; Xu, C.; Stamenov, P.; Coey, M.; Rode, K.; Lindner, J.; Fassbender, J.; Deac, A. M.;
Due to its negligible spontaneous magnetization, high spin polarization and giant perpendicular magnetic anisotropy, Mn₂RuₓGa (MRG) is an ideal candidate as an oscillating layer in THz spin-transfer-torque nano-oscillators. Here, the effect of ultrathin Al and Ta diffusion barriers between MRG and MgO in perpendicular magnetic tunnel junctions is investigated and compared to devices with a bare MRG/MgO interface. Both the compensation temperature, Tcomp, of the electrode and the tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) of the device are highly sensitive to the choice and thickness of the insertion layer used. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy, as well as analysis of the TMR, its bias dependence, and the resistance-area product allow us to compare the devices from a structural and electrical point of view. Al insertion leads to the formation of thicker effective barriers and gives the highest TMR, at the cost of a reduced Tcomp. Ta is the superior diffusion barrier which retains Tcomp, however, it also leads to a much lower TMR on account of the short spin diffusion length which reduces the tunneling spin polarization. The study shows that fine engineering of the Mn₂RuₓGa/barrier interface to improve the TMR amplitude is feasible.
Keywords: Tunneling Magnetoresistance, Half-Metal, Mn-based alloys, MRAM, Spin Polarisation, Heusler alloy, Ferrimagnetic, Perpendicular Magnetic Anisotropy

Publ.-Id: 28906 - Permalink