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Nano Lett. 2018 Jul 11;18(7):4303-4308. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b01278. Epub 2018 Jun 7.

Tunneling Spin Valves Based on Fe3GeTe2/hBN/Fe3GeTe2 van der Waals Heterostructures.

Author information

1
DQMP and GAP , University of Geneva , 24 Quai Ernest Ansermet , CH-1211 Geneva , Switzerland.
2
National Institute for Materials Science , 1-1 Namiki , Tsukuba 305-0044 , Japan.
3
Materials Science and Technology Division , Oak Ridge National Laboratory , Oak Ridge , Tennessee 37831 , United States.

Abstract

Thin van der Waals (vdW) layered magnetic materials hold the possibility of realizing vdW heterostructures with new functionalities. Here, we report on the realization and investigation of tunneling spin valves based on van der Waals heterostructures consisting of an atomically thin hBN layer acting as tunnel barrier and two exfoliated Fe3GeTe2 crystals acting as ferromagnetic electrodes. Low-temperature anomalous Hall effect measurements show that thin Fe3GeTe2 crystals are metallic ferromagnets with an easy axis perpendicular to the layers and a very sharp magnetization switching at magnetic field values that depends slightly on their geometry. In Fe3GeTe2/hBN/Fe3GeTe2 heterostructures, we observe textbook behavior of the tunneling resistance, which is minimum (maximum) when the magnetization in the two electrodes is parallel (antiparallel) to each other. The magnetoresistance is 160% at low temperature, from which we determine the spin polarization of Fe3GeTe2 to be 0.66, corresponding to 83% and 17% of the majority and minority carriers, respectively. The measurements also show that, with increasing temperature, the evolution of the spin polarization extracted from the tunneling magnetoresistance is proportional to the temperature dependence of the magnetization extracted from the analysis of the anomalous Hall conductivity. This suggests that the magnetic properties of the surface are representative of those of the bulk, as may be expected for vdW materials.

KEYWORDS:

Fe3GeTe2; Spin valve; magnetic tunnel junction; tunneling magnetoresistance; van der Waals heterostructure

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