Oxygen as a Surfactant in the Growth of Giant Magnetoresistance Spin Valves
William F. Egelhoff Jr., P J. Chen, Cedric J. Powell, Mark D. Stiles, Robert McMichael, J Judy, K Takano, A. E. Berkowitz
We have found a novel method for increasing the giant Magnetoresistance (GMR) of Co/Cu spin valves with the use of oxygen. Surprisingly, spin valves with the largest GMR are not produced in the best vacuum. Introducing 5X10-9 Torr (7X10-7 Pa) into our ultrahigh vacuum deposition chamber during spin-valve growth increases the GMR, decreases the ferromagnetic coupling between magnetic leyers, and decreases the sheet resistance of the spin valves. It appears that the oxygen may act as a surfactant during film growth to suppress defects and to create a surface which scatters electrons more specularly. Using this technique, bottom spin valves and symmetric spin valves with GMR values of 19.0% and 24.8% respectively, have been produced. These are the largest valves ever reported for such structures.
Giant Magnetoresistance(GMR), magnetic layers, spin valves, surfactant
Egelhoff Jr., W.
, Chen, P.
, Powell, C.
, Stiles, M.
, McMichael, R.
, Judy, J.
, Takano, K.
and Berkowitz, A.
Oxygen as a Surfactant in the Growth of Giant Magnetoresistance Spin Valves, Applied Physics
(Accessed May 29, 2023)