Magnetoresistance and negative differential resistance in Ni/graphene/Ni vertical heterostructures driven by finite bias voltage: a first-principles study

Kamal K. Saha, Anders Blom, Kristian S. Thygesen, Branislav K. Nikolic

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Abstract

Using the nonequilibrium Green's function formalism combined with density functional theory, we study finite bias quantum transport in Ni/Grn/Ni vertical heterostructures where n graphene layers are sandwiched between two semi-infinite Ni(111) electrodes. We find that the recently predicted “pessimistic” magnetoresistance of 100% for n≥5 junctions at zero bias voltage Vb→0 persists up to Vb≃0.4 V, which makes such devices promising for spin-torque-based device applications. In addition, for parallel orientations of the Ni magnetizations, the n=5 junction exhibits a pronounced negative differential resistance as the bias voltage is increased from Vb=0 V to Vb≃0.5 V. We confirm that both of these nonequilibrium transport effects hold for different types of bonding of Gr on the Ni(111) surface while maintaining Bernal stacking between individual Gr layers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review B Condensed Matter
Volume85
Issue number18
Pages (from-to)184426
ISSN0163-1829
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

©2012 American Physical Society

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