Materials and Nanoscience, Nebraska Center for (NCMN)


Tunneling Anisotropic Magnetoresistance Driven by Resonant Surface States: First-Principles Calculations on an Fe(001) Surface

Athanasios N. Chantis, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
Kirill D. Belashchenko , University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Evgeny Y. Tsymbal, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Mark van Schilfgaarde, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

Document Type Article

Published in PRL 98, 046601 (2007). © 2007 The American Physical Society. Used by permission.


Fully relativistic first-principles calculations of the Fe(001) surface demonstrate that resonant surface (interface) states may produce sizable tunneling anisotropic magnetoresistance in magnetic tunnel junctions with a single magnetic electrode. The effect is driven by the spin-orbit coupling. It shifts the resonant surface band via the Rashba effect when the magnetization direction changes. We find that spinflip scattering at the interface is controlled not only by the strength of the spin-orbit coupling, but depends strongly on the intrinsic width of the resonant surface states.