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Effect of Annealing on Transport Properties of MgO-based Magnetic Tunnel Junctions



Ann Chiaramonti Debay, Daniel Schreiber, William F. Egelhoff Jr., D. N. Seidman, Amanda K. Petford-Long


The effect of annealing on the transport behavior of CoFe/MgO/CoFe magnetic tunnel junctions has been studied using a combination of site-specific in-situ transmission electron microscopy and three-dimensional atom probe tomography. Annealing at 340 °C for 1 hour in vacuum led to an increase in the resistance of the junctions as compared to the as-grown films. a shift in the conductance curve minimum from zero volts for the as-grown specimen could be correlated with the presence of a CoFe oxide at the lower ferromagnet-barrier interface. The conductance curve for the annealed specimen, however, was found to be symmetric about zero volts. Annealing decreased the asymmetry in the conductance by making the tunnel barrier more homogeneous chemically. This occurred as a result of the diffusion of Co and Fe into the barrier from both the top and bottom ferromagnetic layers.
Applied Physics Letters


magnetic tunnel junctions, MgO transport annealing


Chiaramonti Debay, A. , Schreiber, D. , Egelhoff Jr., W. , Seidman, D. and Petford-Long, A. (2008), Effect of Annealing on Transport Properties of MgO-based Magnetic Tunnel Junctions, Applied Physics Letters, [online],, (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created September 11, 2008, Updated October 12, 2021