Layer dependent magnetoresistance of vertical MoS2 magnetic tunnel junctions†
Spin polarization of electrons through transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) from ferromagnetic metals (FMs) is a fascinating phenomenon in condensed matter physics. The spin polarized current makes high- and low-resistance states in FM/TMDs/FM junctions depending on magnetization alignment of FM electrodes. We have manifested vertical spin valve junctions by incorporating MoS2 layers of different thicknesses by an ultraclean fabrication method. The current–voltage (I–V) characteristics show the ohmic contact behavior, indicating that mono-, bi-, and tri-layer MoS2 work as conducting thin film. In contrast, FM/multilayer MoS2/FM junction shows non-linear I–V characteristics and the junction resistance increases as the temperature is lowered, indicating that multilayer MoS2 provides a tunneling barrier between FM electrodes. We have found that the magnetoresistance (MR) ratio increases gradually as the thickness of the MoS2 layer is increased. Our investigation will provide a guide to make an optimal choice in the development of magnetic tunnel junctions with two-dimensional layered TMDs.