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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Jan 5;98(1):016601. Epub 2007 Jan 5.

Room-temperature tunnel magnetoresistance and spin-polarized tunneling through an organic semiconductor barrier.

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Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Electron spin-polarized tunneling is observed through an ultrathin layer of the molecular organic semiconductor tris(8-hydroxyquinolinato)aluminum (Alq3). Significant tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) was measured in a Co/Al2O3/Alq3/NiFe magnetic tunnel junction at room temperature, which increased when cooled to low temperatures. Tunneling characteristics, such as the current-voltage behavior and temperature and bias dependence of the TMR, show the good quality of the organic tunnel barrier. Spin polarization (P) of the tunnel current through the Alq3 layer, directly measured using superconducting Al as the spin detector, shows that minimizing formation of an interfacial dipole layer between the metal electrode and organic barrier significantly improves spin transport.

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