Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Insight into inner magnetic layers

18.02.2015

Measurements at BESSY II have shown how spin filters forming within magnetic sandwiches influence tunnel magnetoresistance -- results that can help in designing spintronic component-

In doing so, the teams enhanced our understanding of processes that are important for future TMR data storage devices and other spintronic components. Their results have now been published in Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7306).


The insulating LFO-layer in its normal state is antiferromagnetically ordered (AFM) and has no ferromagnetic domains. Due to the proximity to the ferromagnetic LSMO, ferromagnetic domains develop (white arrows) at the interface, pointing into the opposite direction of the LSMO-layer.

Credit: HZB

Layers of magnetic materials are found in every hard drive and in every read/write head today. These are sandwiches made of complex heterostructures in which the different layers have typical thicknesses of only a few nanometres. An effect of quantum physics called tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) is critical for their operation. It occurs when two ferromagnetic layers are separated from one another by an insulating layer several plies of atoms thick, like cheese between two slices of bread. As long as the magnetisation in both "slices" is parallel, the electrons can tunnel through the "cheese", i.e. the device resistance is low. However, if the magnetisation changes in one of the layers, the electrons can no longer tunnel through the middle layer, i.e. the resistance is high. In this way, the electrical resistance can be precisely controlled through the influence of a magnetic field on one of the two outer layers, and be associated with the binary values of zero and one used for calculations.

New effect observed

The teams from France, Spain and HZB have now discovered that in such sandwiches combining different transition metal oxides, new interfacial effects can strongly influence the amplitude of the TMR This is what the French team under Manuel Bibes and Agnès Barthelemy of the Unité de Physique, CNRS/Thales, Palaiseau (working in collaboration with the team of Jacobo Santamaria in Madrid) had initially observed in measuring the electron transport characteristics. They were researching a system of two LSMO (La0.7Sr0.3MnO3) layers that were separated by a very thin layer of LFO (LaFeO3). The LSMO layers were ferromagnetic while the LFO insulating layer was anti-ferromagnetic.

New magnetic order at the interface

Measurements using the ALICE chamber and from the XPEEM instrument in beamline UE49 at BESSY II have clearly shown what is happening in the interface between the ferromagnetic layers and the anti-ferromagnetic inner layer. The teams were able to decode how each of the magnetic elements manganese and iron were oriented at the interfaces using the XPEEM instrument. "We saw how new magnetic phases arise at the boundaries that function like spin filters", explained Sergio Valencia, who heads the HZB team. "Put simply: the iron atoms near the interface are influenced by the manganese magnetic moments; they then orient their magnetic moments antiparallel to those of the manganese atoms and thus form ferromagnetic domains. We have thus demonstrated experimentally for the first time that ferromagnetic domains can be induced in non-ferromagnetic barrier layers." The French team carried out subsequent calculations of how these kinds of spin filters effect the tunnel magnetoresistance and could reproduce the experimental data.

"These kinds of complex oxide heterostructures as we investigated here could play an important role in future spintronics", says Valencia. The results that have now been published in Nature Communications explain an important process that has not been taken into account so far, and they therefore help in designing tunnel barriers with the desired properties.

###

To the publication in Nature Communications: "Insight into spin transport in oxide heterostructures from interface-resolved magnetic mapping" DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7306

Media Contact

Dr. Sergio Valencia Molina
sergio.valencia@helmholtz-berlin.de
49-308-062-15619

http://www.hmi.de 

Dr. Sergio Valencia Molina | EurekAlert!

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht New value added to the ICSD (Inorganic Crystal Structure Database)
27.03.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

nachricht Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen
24.03.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>