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Ultra-Thin Aluminum Oxide as a Thermal Oxidation Barrier on Metal Films



L Gan, Romel Gomez, Audie M. Castillo, P J. Chen, Cedric J. Powell, William F. Egelhoff Jr.


We have investigated the role of aluminum oxide films as barriers to thermal oxidation of Co, Ni, Fe, NiFe, Mn, Ta, Cu Al and Cr in air. The oxidation of the film is monitored by measuring the electrical resistance following a brief anneal in air. We find that 0.3nm and 1nm Al protect the underlying metal film against thermal oxidation in air at temperatures a few hundred degrees above the temperature at which the unprotected metal oxides. These results suggested that in the production of magnetic tunnel junction samples could be annealed in air after the oxidation of the oxidation of Al. The expected benefits of the annealing in air would include the oxidation of any remaining of metallic Al, a more uniform Al2Od3 thickness, and a sharper metal/Al2Od3 interface.
Thin Solid Films
No. 1-2


aluminum oxide, magnetic tunnel junction, thermal oxidation, thin film resistance, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopes


Gan, L. , Gomez, R. , Castillo, A. , Chen, P. , Powell, C. and Egelhoff Jr., W. (2002), Ultra-Thin Aluminum Oxide as a Thermal Oxidation Barrier on Metal Films, Thin Solid Films (Accessed April 22, 2024)
Created July 31, 2002, Updated October 12, 2021