Spatially modulated tunnel magnetoresistance on the nanoscale

Hirofumi Oka, Kun Tao, Sebastian Wedekind, Guillemin Rodary, Valeri S. Stepanyuk, Dirk Sander, Jürgen Kirschner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the local tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) effect within a single Co nanoisland using spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy. We observe a clear spatial modulation of the TMR ratio with an amplitude of ∼20% and a spacing of ∼1.3nm between maxima and minima around the Fermi level. This result can be ascribed to a spatially modulated spin polarization within the Co island due to spin-dependent quantum interference. Our combined experimental and theoretical study reveals that spin-dependent electron confinement affects all transport properties such as differential conductance, conductance, and TMR. We demonstrate that the TMR within a nanostructured magnetic tunnel junction can be controlled on a length scale of 1 nm through spin-dependent quantum interference.

Original languageEnglish
Article number187201
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Oct 25


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