Mathon, J. and Umerski, A.
Theory of tunneling magnetoresistance in a disordered Fe/MgO/Fe(001) junction.
Physical Review B, 74(14) p. 140404.
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Calculation of the tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) of an Fe/MgO/Fe(001) junction with a disordered Fe/MgO interface is reported. It is shown that intermixing of Fe and Mg atoms at the interface decreases the TMR ratio rapidly and when about 16% of interfacial Fe atoms are substituted by Mg the calculated TMR saturates with increasing MgO thickness in good agreement with experiment. It is demonstrated that the saturation of TMR occurs because interfacial scattering leads to a redistribution of conductance channels, which opens up the perpendicular tunneling channel in the antiferromagnetic configuration that is forbidden for a perfect epitaxial junction.
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