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Surface morphology of epitaxial magnetic tunnel junctions.

Authors
  • Mizuguchi, M
  • Suzuki, Y
  • Nagahama, T
  • Yuasa, S
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Publisher
American Scientific Publishers
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2007
Volume
7
Issue
1
Pages
255–258
Identifiers
PMID: 17455489
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The surface morphology of epitaxial Fe(001)/MgO(001)/Fe(001) magnetic tunnel junctions, which show the giant tunneling magnetoresistance effect, was investigated by in situ scanning tunneling microscopy. It was observed that an epitaxial MgO barrier layer forms flat surface structures. The surface was flatter with distinct steps and terraces after annealing, which would lead to an increase of the tunneling magnetoresistance ratio. Examination of the local electronic structures of 1.05-nm-thick MgO barrier layers by scanning tunneling spectroscopy revealed no pinholes in the layers, so they would be perfect barriers in magnetic tunnel junctions.

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