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Title: Controlling spin-dependent tunneling by bandgap tuning in epitaxial rocksalt MgZnO films

Widespread application of magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) for information storage has so far been limited by the complicated interplay between tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) ratio and the product of resistance and junction area (RA). An intricate connection exists between TMR ratio, RA value and the bandgap and crystal structure of the barrier, a connection that must be unravelled to optimise device performance and enable further applications to be developed. In this paper, we demonstrate a novel method to tailor the bandgap of an ultrathin, epitaxial Zn-doped MgO tunnel barrier with rocksalt structure. This structure is attractive due to its good Δ 1 spin filtering effect, and we show that MTJs based on tunable MgZnO barriers allow effective balancing of TMR ratio and RA value. Finally, in this way spin-dependent transport properties can be controlled, a key challenge for the development of spintronic devices.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing (China). State Key Lab. of Magnetism. Beijing National Lab. for Condensed Matter Physics. Inst. of Physics
  2. Univ. of Oxford (United Kingdom). Clarendon Lab. Dept. of Physics
  3. Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States). Dept. of Physics. Quantum Theory Project; Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences. Computer Science and Mathematics Division
  4. Ben-Gurion Univ. of the Negev, Beer-Sheva (Israel). Dept. of Materials Engineering. Ilse Katz Inst. for Nanoscale Science and Technology
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; spintronics; information storage