Tunneling magnetoresistance in trilayer structures composed of group-IV ferromagnetic semiconductor Ge1-xFex, MgO, and Fe

28 Jul 2016  ·  Wakabayashi Yuki K., Okamoto Kohei, Ban Yoshisuke, Sato Shoichi, Tanaka Masaaki, Ohya Shinobu ·

Group-IV-based ferromagnetic semiconductor Ge1-xFex (GeFe) is one of the most promising materials for efficient spin injectors and detectors for Si and Ge. Recent first principles calculations (Sakamoto et al., Ref... 9) suggested that the Fermi level is located in two overlapping largely spin-polarized bands formed in the bandgap of GeFe; spin-down d(e) band and spin-up p-d(t2) band. Thus, it is important to clarify how these bands contribute to spin injection and detection. In this study, we show the first successful observation of the tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) in magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) containing a group-IV ferromagnetic semiconductor, that is, in MTJs composed of epitaxially grown Fe/MgO/Ge0.935Fe0.065. We find that the p-d(t2) band in GeFe is mainly responsible for the tunneling transport. Although the obtained TMR ratio is small (0.3%), the TMR ratio is expected to be enhanced by suppressing leak current through amorphous-like crystal domains observed in MgO. read more

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Materials Science