Co/AlOx/Co with AlOxbarriers of various oxidation states were fabricated and investigated using inelastic electron tunneling (IET) spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). XPS revealed that AlOxoxidized for 8 h contained an inhomogeneous distribution of metallic Al, whereas AlOxoxidized for 24 h contained a homogeneous distribution. The inhomogeneous and homogeneous distributions of metallic Al corresponded to asymmetric and symmetric IET spectra, respectively. These junctions showed peaks at ± 0.03 V. AlOxoxidized for 168 h contained no metallic Al, and this junction had no peaks, suggesting that peaks at ± 0.03 V originate from metallic Al. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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