We have investigated the use of various alloys as substitutes for pure Co in the center film of symmetric spin valves of the type NiO/Co/Cu/Co/Cu/Co/NiO. The aim of this work is to identify magnetic materials that exhibit smaller coercivities than pure Co for the center or valve film but which retain much of the giant magnetoresistance associated with a pure Co film. The materials investigated include Co95Fe5, Co90Fe10, Ni80Fe20, Co86Fe10.5Ni3.5, and Co85B15. It appears that each of these alloys scatters electrons more strongly than does pure Co as they cross the center film. This scattering degrades the dual spin-valve effect, which is the primary advantage of the symmetric spin valve. As a result, a tradeoff exists between large GMR and small coercivity when using these materials.
Citation: Journal of Applied Physics
Pub Type: Journals