ac impedance techniques to study oxidation process of tunnel barriers in CoFe-AlOx-CoFe magnetic tunnel junctions
The complex impedance spectra of CoFe-AlOx-CoFe tunnel junctions with under-, proper-, and overoxidized tunnel barriers have been investigated by ac impedance techniques. Two sets of parallel resistance (R) and capacitance (C) elements and a R element in series, modeling the impedance contributions of the metal-oxide interfaces and bulk insulating layers, are employed to describe the impedance spectra of under- and proper-oxidized junctions. This model, however, reveals a discrepancy for overoxidized junctions. This discrepancy can be reconciled by including a third set of parallel RC element, which suggests the appearance of overoxidized CoFeOx layer upon the bottom electrode. From further analysis of interfacial capacitance as a function of oxidation time, the bottom interfacial capacitance widely diverges from the top interfacial capacitance and can be related to the oxidation process of tunnel barrier. The analyzing results of impedance technique are also consistent with the results by complex capacitance technique.