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All-Metal Current-Perpendicular-to-Plane Giant Magnetoresistance Sensors for Narrow-Track Magnetic Recording

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13 Author(s)
Childress, J.R. ; San Jose Res. Center, Hitachi Global Storage Technol., San Jose, CA ; Carey, M.J. ; Maat, S. ; Smith, N.
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Read heads using current-perpendicular-to-plane (CPP) giant magnetoresistance sensors have been fabricated and tested under high-density recording conditions. A magnetoresistance of 5.5% and shield-to-shield spacing of 45 nm have been achieved by using an all-metal single-spin-valve with Heusler-alloy-based free and reference magnetic layers. Read heads with magnetic read widths ~45 nm were tested on perpendicular media, resulting in signals above 1 mV and signal-to-noise ratio ~30 dB. Linear densities in excess of 1050 kbpi were achieved with thermal fly-height control, compatible with recording areal densities of ~400 Gb/in2. Current-induced spin-torque effects in the recording head were observed to result in rapid performance degradation above a threshold bias voltage of about 75 mV, corresponding to current densities >108 A/cm2.

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Magnetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 1 )