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Exchange bias and giant magnetoresistance in spin valves with Angström-scale antiferromagnetic Layers at 5 K

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4 Author(s)
Perdue, K.L. ; Dept. of Phys., Harvey Mudd Coll., Claremont, CA, USA ; Carey, M.J. ; Sparks, P.D. ; Eckert, J.C.

We have studied the effects on the exchange bias of decreasing the antiferromagnetic layer to the Angström-scale regime in order to shed light on the minimum required thickness of the antiferromagnet. We have deposited IrMn layers between 0.2 and 2 nm on spin valves and measured the exchange bias by examining hysteresis loops at 5 K using the giant magnetoresistance of the spin valves. The exchange bias persists for IrMn thicknesses down to 0.4 nm and has a maximum at 1.6 nm. Because the ultra-thin layers create an exchange field, the origin of at least one component of exchange biasing must have a similarly short length scale.

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Magnetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:41 ,  Issue: 10 )