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Concepts in Spin Electronics$
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Sadamichi Maekawa

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198568216

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198568216.001.0001

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Tunnel spin injectors

Tunnel spin injectors

(p.239) 6 Tunnel spin injectors
Concepts in Spin Electronics

Xin Jiang

Stuart Parkin

Oxford University Press

Highly spin-polarized electron currents can be engineered in magnetic nanostructures by utilizing spin dependent tunneling and spin dependent scattering effects. In magnetic tunnel junctions with crystalline MgO barriers, a giant asymmetry in tunneling probability for the majority and minority electrons gives rise to currents which are more than 85% spin polarized at low temperatures and corresponding tunneling magnetoresistance values of more than 200% at room temperature. In a three terminal magnetic tunnel transistor (MTT), the electron current is further spin-filtered in a magnetic base layer so that the collector current can become nearly completely spin-polarized. The MTT allows for the exploration of spin dependent scattering of hot electrons and can be used as a spin injector into semiconductors, but the high energy of the injected electrons leads to modest values of spin polarization. More highly spin polarized currents can be injected into semiconductors using tunnel spin injectors such as CoFe/MgO.

Keywords:   magnetic tunnel junction, spin polarization, MgO, magnetic tunnel transistor, spin-filtering, spin injection

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