Magnetoresistance Effect in Rubrene-Based Spin Valves at Room Temperature

We fabricate spin-valve devices with an Fe<sub>3</sub>O<sub>4</sub>/AlO/rubrene/Co stacking structure. Their magnetoresistance (MR) effects at room temperature and low temperatures are systemically investigated based on the measurement of MR curves, current–voltage response, etc. A large MR ratio of approximately 6% is achieved at room temperature, which is one of the highest MR ratios reported to date in organic spin valves. With decreasing measurement temperatures, we observe that the MR ratios increase because of decrease in spin scattering, and the width of the MR curves becomes larger owing to increase in the coercivity of the electrodes at low temperature. A nonlinear current–voltage dependence is clearly observed in these organic spin valves. From the measurement of MR curve for the spin valves with different rubrene layer thickness, we observe that the MR ratios monotonously decrease with increasing rubrene-layer thickness. We discuss the spin-dependent transport mechanisms in these devices based on our experimental results and the present theoretical analysis. Moreover, we note that the devices exhibit smaller MR ratios after annealing compared to their counterparts without annealing. On the basis of atomic force microscopy analysis of the organic films and device resistances, we deduce that the increase of interface spin scattering induced by large surface roughness after annealing most probably leads to reduction in the MR ratios.