M. Grünewald, N. Homonnay, J. Kleinlein, G. Schmidt
Voltage-controlled oxide barriers in organic/hybrid spin valves based on tunneling anisotropic magnetoresistance
Phys. Rev. B 90 (20) (2015-02-24 13:02:31), 205208
Resistive switching, i.e., the remanent (reversible) change of a device's resistance, is a widely investigated phenomenon as it holds the prospect for realizing high density memory devices. Resistive switching has also been observed in organic semiconductors; however, a clear understanding of the underlying physics could not yet be obtained. Possible options are for example interface effects at the electrodes or the formation and destruction of filaments. Here we present resistive switching in an organic spin valve based on tunneling anisotropic magnetoresistance. Similar to experiments in conventional spin-valve devices with two ferromagnetic electrodes we observe a modulation of the magnetoresistance by the electrical switching. However, as themagnetoresistance effect's origin is unambiguously clear, which is not always the case for effects in conventional structures, it can be exploited to prove that a tunnel barrier exists at the interface between the ferromagnetic oxide electrode and the organic semiconductor. Furthermore our experiments reveal that this barrier is reversibly modified during the switching, which causes both the change in magnetoresistance and total device resistance. Quantitative analysis indicates that the barrier is situated in the oxide layer. A phenomenological model provides a full description of the microscopic processes involved in the resistive switching.