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Improved Interfaces and Magnetic Properties in Spin Valves Using Ni80Fe20 Seed Layer



E J. Repetski, D X. Yang, H D. Chopra, P J. Chen, William F. Egelhoff Jr.


The giant magnetoresistance (GMR) (Ni80Fe20)O-Co-Cu based top spin valves were studied with and without Ni80Fe20 as a seed layer. Microstructure examination shows that without the seed layer, the free and the pinned Co layers of the spin valves are highly irregular, discontinuous, and connected by pinholes across the Cu spacer layer, resulting I a large coupling >5.96 kA/m (>75 Oe) and a negligible GMR effect (<0.7%). The presence of Ni80Fe20 seed layer leads to continuous layers without pinholes and smooth interfaces in the (Ni80Fe20) O-Co-Cu, thereby essentially eliminating the coupling between the free and the pinned layers 0.23 kA/m (or 2.9 Oe), a more than 25-fold reduction with respect to the seedless spin valves. Reduced detrimental coupling results in more than an order of magnitude increase in GMR (8.5 %) in the NiFe seed layer spin valves. Domain studies confirm that the pinned and the free layers in seedless spin valves reverse their magnetization in an overlapping field range, and independently in spin valves deposited in the presence of a seed layer.
Journal of Applied Physics
No. 6


domain study, giant magnetoresistance (GMR), interfaces, spinvalves


Repetski, E. , Yang, D. , Chopra, H. , Chen, P. and Egelhoff Jr., W. (2002), Improved Interfaces and Magnetic Properties in Spin Valves Using Ni<sub>80</sub>Fe<sub>20</sub> Seed Layer, Journal of Applied Physics (Accessed June 24, 2024)


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Created February 28, 2002, Updated October 12, 2021