What determines the sign reversal of magnetoresistance in a molecular tunnel junction?
The observations of both positive and negative signs in tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) for the same organic spin-valve structure have baffled researchers working in organic spintronics. In this article, we provide an answer to this puzzle by exploring the role of metal–molecule interface on TMR in a single molecular spin-valve junction. A planar organic molecule sandwiched between two nickel electrodes is used to build a prototypical spin-valve junction. A parameter-free, single-particle Green’s function approach in conjunction with a posteriori, spin-unrestricted density functional theory involving a hybrid orbital-dependent functional is used to calculate the spin-polarized current. The effect of external bias is explicitly included to investigate the spin-valve behavior. Our calculations show that only a small change in the interfacial distance at the metal–molecule junction can alter the sign of the TMR from a positive to a negative value. By changing the interfacial distance by 3%, the number of participating eigenchannels as well as their orbital characteristics changes for the antiparallel configuration, leading to the sign reversal in TMR.
What determines the sign reversal of magnetoresistance in a molecular tunnel junction?.
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