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  1. Abstract

    Magnetocapacitance (MC) effect has been observed in systems where both symmetries of time-reversal and space-inversion are broken, for examples, in multiferroic materials and spintronic devices. The effect has received increasing attention due to its interesting physics and the prospect of applications. Recently, a large tunnel magnetocapacitance (TMC) of 332% at room temperature was reported using MgO-based (001)-textured magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs). Here, we report further enhancement in TMC beyond 420% at room temperature using epitaxial MTJs with an MgAl2O4(001) barrier with a cation-disordered spinel structure. This large TMC is partially caused by the high effective tunneling spin polarization, resulted from the excellent lattice matching between the Fe electrodes and the MgAl2O4barrier. The epitaxial nature of this MTJ system sports an enhanced spin-dependent coherent tunneling effect. Among other factors leading to the large TMC are the appearance of the spin capacitance, the large barrier height, and the suppression of spin flipping through the MgAl2O4barrier. We explain the observed TMC by the Debye-Fröhlich modelled calculation incorporating Zhang-sigmoid formula, parabolic barrier approximation, and spin-dependent drift diffusion model. Furthermore, we predict a 1000% TMC in MTJs with a spin polarization of 0.8. These experimental and theoretical findings provide a deeper understanding on the intrinsic mechanism of the TMC effect. New applications based on large TMC may become possible in spintronics, such as multi-value memories, spin logic devices, magnetic sensors, and neuromorphic computing.

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