Thermal stability of spin valves incorporating new amorphous ZrAl alloy films as under and capping layers

Jong Soo Kim, Seong Rae Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigated the thermal stability and interdiffusion behavior of new amorphous ZrAl-based spin valves (SVs) and compared them with similarly structured Ta-based top (T) and bottom (B) SVs. The magneto-resistance (MR) ratios of ZrAlbased T-and B-SVs were enhanced from 8.49 to 9.14% and from 6.91 to 7.54%, respectively. The Ta-based SVs degraded relatively quickly at elevated temperatures because of interlayer diffusion. In contrast, the MR ratio of the ZrAl-based T-SV decreased by only 6.6% (9.14 → 8.54%), while that of the B-SV increased by 2.3% (7.54 → 7.71 %), after annealing at 300°C for 240 min. This result and the Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) depth profile clearly showed that ZrAl-based SVs have high interdiffusion resistance. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) analyses of the root-mean-square (rms) roughness indicated that the ZrAl layer (0.162 nm) has a smoother interface than the Ta layer (0.431 nm). The ZrAl-based SV has a fine, dense microstructure. It resists interdiffusion at elevated temperature and results in superior thermal stability over traditional Ta-based SVs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2206-2208
Number of pages3
JournalIEEE Transactions on Magnetics
Volume40
Issue number4 II
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jul 1

Fingerprint

Amorphous alloys
Magnetoresistance
Thermodynamic stability
thermal stability
Auger electron spectroscopy
Atomic force microscopy
Surface roughness
Annealing
Transmission electron microscopy
Temperature
Microstructure
high resistance
Auger spectroscopy
electron spectroscopy
interlayers
roughness
atomic force microscopy
transmission electron microscopy
microstructure
annealing

Keywords

  • Amorphous ZrAl-based spin valves
  • Interdiffusion
  • Thermal stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Thermal stability of spin valves incorporating new amorphous ZrAl alloy films as under and capping layers. / Kim, Jong Soo; Lee, Seong Rae.

In: IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, Vol. 40, No. 4 II, 01.07.2004, p. 2206-2208.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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