Tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) phenomena in hybrid Fe/GaAlAs/GaMnAs magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) were investigated by rotating a magnetic field of constant strength in the film plane. When a strong field (e.g., 4000 G) is used, the magnetization in GaMnAs and Fe coherently rotates in both layers, resulting in a smooth angular dependence of TMR. In contrast, abrupt transition steps and plateaus are observed in TMR, when a weak field (below 100 G) is rotated. The behavior observed in strong fields is ascribed to tunneling anisotropic magnetoresistance, an effect that occurs when magnetizations in both magnetic layers in the MTJ are aligned parallel to each other. The tunneling behavior observed in weak fields, on the other hand, is caused by differences in relative magnetization alignments in the two layers that arise from differences in their magnetocrystalline anisotropies. The latter behavior provided the anisotropic TMR that involved with parallel and antiparallel alignments at specific crystallographic directions.
- Magnetic tunnel junction
- anisotropic tunneling magnetoresistance
- tunneling anisotropic magnetoresistance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering