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Journal Articles Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics Year : 2023

ZnSe and ZnTe as tunnel barriers for Fe-based spin valves


Owing to their use in the optoelectronic industry, we investigate whether ZnSe and ZnTe can be utilised as tunnel barrier materials in magnetic spin valves. We perform ab initio electronic structure and linear response transport calculations based on self-interaction-corrected density functional theory for both Fe/ZnSe/Fe and Fe/ZnTe/Fe junctions. In the Fe/ZnSe/Fe junction the transport is tunneling-like and a symmetry-filtering mechanism is at play, implying that only the majority spin electrons with Δ1 symmetry are transmitted with large probability, resulting in a potentially large tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) ratio. As such, the transport characteristics are similar to those of the Fe/MgO/Fe junction, although the TMR ratio is lower for tunnel barriers of similar thickness due to the smaller bandgap of ZnSe as compared to that of MgO. In the Fe/ZnTe/Fe junction the Fermi level is pinned at the bottom of the conduction band of ZnTe and only a giant magnetoresistance effect is found. Our results provide evidence that chalcogenide-based tunnel barriers can be utilised in spintronics devices.
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hal-04364038 , version 1 (26-12-2023)



Gokaran Shukla, Hasan M Abdullah, Avijeet Ray, Shubham Tyagi, Aurélien Manchon, et al.. ZnSe and ZnTe as tunnel barriers for Fe-based spin valves. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2023, 25 (19), pp.13533-13541. ⟨10.1039/D3CP00833A⟩. ⟨hal-04364038⟩
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