Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 43 (2004) pp. L588-L590  |Previous Article| |Next Article|  |Table of Contents|
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High Tunnel Magnetoresistance at Room Temperature in Fully Epitaxial Fe/MgO/Fe Tunnel Junctions due to Coherent Spin-Polarized Tunneling

Shinji Yuasa1,2,, Akio Fukushima1, Taro Nagahama1, Koji Ando1 and Yoshishige Suzuki1

1NanoElectronics Research Institute, AIST, 1-1-1 Umezono, Tsukuba 305-8568, Japan
2PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Agency, 4-1-8 Honcho, Kawaguchi, Saitama 332-0012, Japan

(Received February 24, 2004; accepted March 10, 2004; published April 2, 2004)

We fabricated fully epitaxial Fe(001)/MgO(001)/Fe(001) magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) and observed a magneto-resistance (MR) ratio of 88% at T = 293 K (146% at T = 20 K), the highest value yet reported. The origin of the high MR ratio is not the diffusive tunneling of Julliere's model but the coherent spin-polarized tunneling in epitaxial MTJs, in which only the electrons with totally symmetric wave functions with respect to the barrier-normal axis can tunnel. The bias-voltage dependence of the MR was very small, resulting in a high output voltage of 380 mV. This high voltage will help overcome problems in the development of high-density magnetoresistive random-access-memory (MRAM).

DOI: 10.1143/JJAP.43.L588
KEYWORDS:tunnel magnetoresistance, TMR effect, magnetic tunnel junction, MRAM, epitaxial growth

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