Journal of Applied Physics vol:89 issue:11 pages:7350-7352
Ferromagnetic tunnel junctions are very sensitive to degradation and breakdown, due to the ultrathin (similar to1 nm) tunnel barrier. When the junction is stressed with a constant current or voltage, a conductance change of the tunnel junction is observed. Sufficiently high stress will lead to breakdown of the junction. As in SiO2 gate oxide reliability studies, the Weibull distribution plot can be obtained from the time to breakdown data. The dependence of the Weibull function on the area and the stress conditions is studied for the Al2O3 barrier of the tunnel junctions. This is the first step of a systematic study of reliability, which is an important issue for the use of tunnel junctions in, e.g., magnetic random access memory applications. (C) 2001 American Institute of Physics.