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

Published

Author(s)

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

Abstract

The giant magnetoresistance (GMR) NiFeO-Co-Cu based top spin valves were studied with and without NiFe 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 in a large coupling >5.96 kA/m (>75 Oe) and a negligible GMR effect (<0.7%). The presence of NiFe seed layer leads to planar and smooth interfaces, accompanied by more than an order of magnitude increase in GMR (8.5%). Significantly, the seed layer succeeds in almost 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. 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.
Citation
Journal of Applied Physics
Volume
91
Issue
No. 6

Keywords

cobalt, copper, giant magnetoresistance, GMR, pinhole, seed layers, spin valves

Citation

Repetski, E. , Yang, D. , Chopra, H. , Chen, P. and Egelhoff Jr., W. (2002), Improved Interfaces and Magnetic Properties in Spin Valves Using Ni80Fe20 Seed Layers, Journal of Applied Physics (Accessed May 22, 2024)

Issues

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Created February 28, 2002, Updated October 12, 2021