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Epitaxial growth of MgO and Fe/MgO/Fe magnetic tunnel junctions on (100)-Si by molecular beam epitaxy

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8 Author(s)
Miao, G.X. ; Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA ; Chang, J.Y. ; van Veenhuizen, M.J. ; Thiel, K.
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Epitaxial growth of MgO barrier on Si is of technological importance due to the symmetry filtering effect of the MgO barrier in conjunction with bcc-ferromagnets. We study the epitaxial growth of MgO on (100)-Si by molecular beam epitaxy. MgO matches Si with 4:3 cell ratio, which renders Fe to be 45° rotated relative to Si, in sharp contrast to the direct epitaxial growth of Fe on Si. The compressive strains from Si lead to the formation of small angle grain boundaries in MgO below 5 nm, and also affect the transport characteristics of Fe/MgO/Fe magnetic tunnel junctions formed on top.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:93 ,  Issue: 14 )