Correlation between microstructure and magnetotransport in organic semiconductor spin valve structures


We have studied magnetotransport in organic-inorganic hybrid multilayer junctions. In these devices, the organic semiconductor (OSC) Alq3_3 (tris(8-hydroxyquinoline) aluminum) formed a spacer layer between ferromagnetic (FM) Co and Fe layers. The thickness of the Alq3_3 layer was in the range of 50-150 nm. Positive magnetoresistance (MR) was observed at 4.2 K in a current perpendicular to plane geometry, and these effects persisted up to room temperature. The devices' microstructure was studied by X-ray reflectometry, Auger electron spectroscopy and polarized neutron reflectometry (PNR). The films show well-defined layers with modest average chemical roughness (3-5 nm) at the interface between the Alq3_3 and the surrounding FM layers. Reflectometry shows that larger MR effects are associated with smaller FM/Alq3_3 interface width (both chemical and magnetic) and a magnetically dead layer at the Alq3_3/Fe interface. The PNR data also show that the Co layer, which was deposited on top of the Alq3_3, adopts a multi-domain magnetic structure at low field and a perfect anti-parallel state is not obtained. The origins of the observed MR are discussed and attributed to spin coherent transport. A lower bound for the spin diffusion length in Alq3_3 was estimated as 43±543 \pm 5 nm at 80 K. However, the subtle correlations between microstructure and magnetotransport indicate the importance of interfacial effects in these systems.Comment: 21 pages, 11 figures and 2 table

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    Last time updated on 03/01/2020