Tunneling anisotropic magnetoresistance (TAMR) has been characterized in junctions comprised of face-centered cubic (fcc) Co (111) ferromagnetic electrodes grown epitaxially on sapphire substrates, amorphous AlOx tunnel barriers, and nonmagnetic Al counterelectrodes. Large TAMR ratios have been found, up to similar to 7.5% and similar to 11% (at 5 K), for the in-plane and out-of-plane magnetization geometry, respectively. Such large TAMR values were not expected a priori, given the weak anisotropy of the (bulk) Co bands due to spin-orbit interaction, and the absence of Co (111) surface states that cross the Fermi energy. Both the in-plane and out-of-plane TAMR effects exhibit a predominantly twofold symmetry, and a strong bias dependence. The in-plane TAMR shows a maximum along the (twofold) magnetic hard axis, suggesting a relation between magnetic anisotropy and TAMR. We propose that uniaxial strain in combination with Bychkov-Rashba spin-orbit interaction, producing an interfacial tunneling DOS that depends on the magnetization direction, is responsible for the TAMR effect. The importance of the interfacial Co/AlOx (electronic) structure for the TAMR effect is underlined by measurements on junctions with overoxidized AlOx barriers, which show markedly different bias and angle dependence.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Physical review B: Condensed matter and materials physics|
|Publication status||Published - 9 Aug 2013|