Giant tunneling magnetoresistance in spin-filter van der Waals heterostructures

Tiancheng Song, Xinghan Cai, Matisse Wei Yuan Tu, Xiaoou Zhang, Bevin Huang, Nathan P. Wilson, Kyle L. Seyler, Lin Zhu, Takashi Taniguchi, Kenji Watanabe, Michael A. McGuire, David H. Cobden, Di Xiao*, Wang Yao, Xiaodong Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

876 Scopus citations


Magnetic multilayer devices that exploit magnetoresistance are the backbone of magnetic sensing and data storage technologies. Here, we report multiple-spin-filter magnetic tunnel junctions (sf-MTJs) based on van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures in which atomically thin chromium triiodide (CrI 3 ) acts as a spin-filter tunnel barrier sandwiched between graphene contacts. We demonstrate tunneling magnetoresistance that is drastically enhanced with increasing CrI 3 layer thickness, reaching a record 19,000% for magnetic multilayer structures using four-layer sf-MTJs at low temperatures. Using magnetic circular dichroism measurements, we attribute these effects to the intrinsic layer-by-layer antiferromagnetic ordering of the atomically thin CrI 3 . Our work reveals the possibility to push magnetic information storage to the atomically thin limit and highlights CrI 3 as a superlative magnetic tunnel barrier for vdW heterostructure spintronic devices.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1214-1218
Number of pages5
Issue number6394
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

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© 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.


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