The transport properties of planar Fe/MgO/Fe tunnel junctions are investigated theoretically by means of ab initio calculations. In particular, the k||-resolved conductance in dependence on the barrier thickness, the interface structure, and the magnetic configuration is studied. The results show that the number of states in the k||-space contributing significantly to the overall current is decreasing with increasing barrier thickness as expected. In contrast to simple parabolic band models the contribution of states in the vicinity of k||=0, however, is only involved for a few considered configurations of the system Fe/MgO/Fe.
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