The Rowell criteria, commonly used to identify tunneling in magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJ), are scrutinized. While neither the exponential-thickness dependence of the conductivity nor fits of non-linear transport data are found to be reliable tunneling criteria, the temperature-dependent conductivity does remain a solid criterion. Based on experimental studies of the bias and temperature-dependent resistance and magnetoresistance of MTJs, with and without shorted barriers, a new set of criteria is formulated.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We are indebted to Y. Ji and C.L. Chien for fitting our AR data to their extended BTK model. The work at UC—San Diego was supported by DARPA, ONR and the US-DOE. The work at Motorola Labs was partially funded by DARPA. R.E. thanks the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and CONACYT-MEXICO. D.A.R. is a Cottrell Scholar of Research Corporation.
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