Interfacial geometry dependence of the iron magnetic moment: The case of MgO/Fe/MgO

Juan Ignacio Beltrán, Lluis Balcells, Carlos Martínez-Boubeta

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    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The prediction and experimental demonstration of a very large magnetoresistance in Fe/MgO/Fe tunnel junctions have led to intense study of related systems in the last decade. In the present paper, we concentrate on the role of interface coordination, Fe thickness, and magnetization in the MgO/Fe/MgO mirror. By first-principles analysis, it is shown that the iron magnetic moment can rise up to 4 μ B, accounting for observed deviation of the Fe atoms in the vicinity of MgO interfaces. The origin is attributed to site preference predicted by our calculations, namely, that, unlike the case of Fe atoms in the monolayer range sitting just above the oxygen atoms of the MgO(001) substrate, the charge transfer induced by the O p-d Fe interaction leads to a structural distortion that stabilizes the Mg at the very first deposition stages of the capping layer, facing Fe sites. © 2012 American Physical Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number064417
    JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
    Volume85
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2012

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