A Model for the Behavior of Magnetic Tunnel Junctions [electronic resource].
- Washington, D.C. : United States. Dept. of Energy. Office of Science, 2003.
Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy.
- Physical Description:
- 2,210 Kilobytes pages : digital, PDF file
- Additional Creators:
- Ames Laboratory, United States. Department of Energy. Office of Science, and United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information
- Restrictions on Access:
- Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- A magnetic tunnel junction is a device that changes its electrical resistance with a change in an applied magnetic field. A typical junction consists of two magnetic electrodes separated by a nonmagnetic insulating layer. The magnetizations of the two electrodes can have two possible extreme configurations, parallel and antiparallel. The antiparallel configuration is observed to have the higher measured resistance and the parallel configuration has the lower resistance. To switch between these two configurations a magnetic field is applied to the device which is primarily used to change the orientation of the magnetization of one electrode usually called the free layer, although with sufficient high magnetic field the orientation of the magnetizations of both of the electrodes can be changed. The most commonly used models for describing and explaining the electronic behavior of tunnel junctions are the Simmons model and the Brinkman model. However, both of these models were designed for simple, spin independent tunneling. The Simmons model does not address the issue of applied magnetic fields nor does it address the form of the electronic band structure in the metallic electrodes, including the important factor of spin polarization. The Brinkman model is similar, the main difference between the two models being the shape of the tunneling barrier potential between the two electrodes. Therefore, the research conducted in this thesis has developed a new theoretical model that addresses these important issues starting from basic principles. The main features of the new model include: the development of equations for true spin dependent tunneling through the insulating barrier, the differences in the orientations of the electrode magnetizations on either side of the barrier, and the effects of the density of states function on the behavior of the junction. The present work has explored densities of states that are more realistic than the simplified free electron density of states function, and has developed an exact analytic solution for the case of an electron band of finite width. The approach taken in this thesis easily allows extension to cases where the band structure is different on either side of the barrier (known as heterojunctions) which are of greater interest in real magnetic tunnel junction devices rather than the simple, identical band structure devices.
- Report Numbers:
- E 1.99:is-t 2510
- Other Subject(s):
- Dissertation Note:
- Thesis (M.S.); Submitted to Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (US); PBD: 5 Aug 2003
- Published through SciTech Connect.
Bryan John Baker.
- Funding Information:
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