Voltage Control of a van der Waals Spin-Filter Magnetic Tunnel Junction

Tiancheng Song, Matisse Wei Yuan Tu, Caitlin Carnahan, Xinghan Cai, 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

132 Scopus citations


Atomically thin chromium triiodide (CrI3) has recently been identified as a layered antiferromagnetic insulator, in which adjacent ferromagnetic monolayers are antiferromagnetically coupled. This unusual magnetic structure naturally comprises a series of antialigned spin filters, which can be utilized to make spin-filter magnetic tunnel junctions with very large tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR). Here we report voltage control of TMR formed by four-layer CrI3 sandwiched by monolayer graphene contacts in a dual-gated structure. By varying the gate voltages at fixed magnetic field, the device can be switched reversibly between bistable magnetic states with the same net magnetization but drastically different resistance (by a factor of 10 or more). In addition, without switching the state, the TMR can be continuously modulated between 17,000% and 57,000%, due to the combination of spin-dependent tunnel barrier with changing carrier distributions in the graphene contacts. Our work demonstrates new kinds of magnetically moderated transistor action and opens up possibilities for voltage-controlled van der Waals spintronic devices.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)915-920
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - 13 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society.


  • 2D magnets
  • Mangetic tunnel junction
  • bistable magnetic states
  • van der Waals heterostructure
  • voltage-controlled switching


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