Perpendicular magnetic tunnel junctions with GdOX tunneling barriers have shown a unique voltage controllable interlayer magnetic coupling effect. Here, we investigate the quality of the GdOX barrier and the coupling mechanism in these junctions by examining the temperature dependence of the tunneling magnetoresistance and the interlayer coupling from room temperature down to 11 K. The barrier is shown to be of good quality with the spin independent conductance only contributing a small portion, 14%, to the total room temperature conductance, similar to AlOX and MgO barriers. The interlayer coupling, however, shows an anomalously strong temperature dependence including sign changes below 80 K. This non-trivial temperature dependence is not described by previous models of interlayer coupling and may be due to the large induced magnetic moment of the Gd ions in the barrier.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)