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Self-assembled monolayers based spintronics: from ferromagnetic surface functionalization to spin-dependent transport.

Research paper by Sergio S Tatay, Marta M Galbiati, Sophie S Delprat, Clément C Barraud, Karim K Bouzehouane, Sophie S Collin, Cyrile C Deranlot, Eric E Jacquet, Pierre P Seneor, Richard R Mattana, Frédéric F Petroff

Indexed on: 13 Feb '16Published on: 13 Feb '16Published in: Journal of physics. Condensed matter : an Institute of Physics journal



Abstract

Chemically functionalized surfaces are studied for a wide range of applications going from medicine to electronics. Whereas non-magnetic surfaces have been widely studied, functionalization of magnetic surfaces is much less common and has almost never been used for spintronics applications. In this article we present the functionalization of La2/3Sr1/3MnO3, a ferromagnetic oxide, with self-assembled monolayers for spintronics. La2/3Sr1/3MnO3 is the prototypical half-metallic manganite used in spintronics studies. First, we show that La2/3Sr1/3MnO3 can be functionalized by alkylphosphonic acid molecules. We then emphasize the use of these functionalized surfaces in spintronics devices such as magnetic tunnel junctions fabricated using a nano-indentation based lithography technique. The observed exponential increase of tunnel resistance as a function of alkyl chain length is a direct proof of the successful connection of molecules to ferromagnetic electrodes. For all alkyl chains studied we obtain stable and robust tunnel magnetoresistance, with effects ranging from a few tens to 10 000%. These results show that functionalized electrodes can be integrated in spintronics devices and open the door to a molecular engineering of spintronics.