Effects of Fe insertion in CoFeB in the middle electrode on the properties of MgO double-barrier magnetic tunnel junctions

Jongill Hong, Sangho Lee

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2 Citations (Scopus)


We successfully improved the tunnel magnetoresistance ratio (TMR) of an MgO/CoFeB/MgO-based double-barrier magnetic tunnel junction (DMTJ) by inserting ultra-thin Fe into a CoFeB middle electrode. The Fe played as an absorber of B diffused out of the CoFeB and thereby facilitated the crystallization of the CoFeB at the interface. Changes in resistivity of the middle electrode with Fe insertion calculated by the modified current-in-plane tunneling method suggested that they can be explained by the formation of Fe borides, which is ascribed to the fact that Fe indeed promoted the diffusion of B by providing places for the B diffusion. As a result, Fe insertion improved the (001) texture of the middle electrode and thereby increased the TMR of the junction due to enhanced coherent tunneling. However, when inserted Fe was thick, the tunnel properties of DMTJs were degraded because of the absence of strong (001) texture of MgO. Materials and their thickness for a middle electrode are key parameters to successful application of DMTJs for spin devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1571-1575
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Applied Physics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Ube Material Industries Ltd. in Japan for their support in providing single-crystal like MgO targets. This research was supported in part by SK Hynix INC. , by Creative Materials Discovery Program ( 2015M3D1A1070465 ) and Grant ( 2014R1A2A1A11050290 ) through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning of the Korea government , and by the Agency for Defense Development of the Republic of Korea .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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