Formation of tunnel barrier using a pseudo-atomic layer deposition method and its application to spin-dependent tunneling junction
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The tunneling barrier is crucial to the overall performance in magnetic tunnel junctions. We have suggested a new formation method for the tunnel barrier, which has utilized pseudo-atomic layer deposition with sputtering. As is well known, all metallic thin films oxidize more or less under atmospheric conditions. Using this phenomenon, an ultra-thin metallic layer was prepared and exposed to the oxygen ambient repeatedly to reach a desired thickness for the tunnel barrier. From transmission electron microscopy, the tunnel barrier has been confirmed to have a clear and smooth interface between magnetic layers and the tunnel barrier. From atomic force microscopy, it has also been confirmed to have a low surface roughness. The fabricated magnetic tunnel junction has been shown to exhibit tunnel resistivities from 60 to 92 kΩ μm2 and a maximum tunneling magnetoresistance ratio of 40%.
KeywordsTransmission Electron Microscopy Surface Roughness Atomic Force Microscopy Atmospheric Condition Formation Method
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