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Low-resistance magnetic tunnel junctions utilizing perpendicular magnetic anisotropy of Co/Pt multilayer electrodes have been investigated. In these junctions, AlOx tunnel barrier has been prepared by repeated natural oxidation processes. Each natural oxidation process has been optimized by varying the thickness of pre-oxidized Al layer prior to oxidation. The perpendicular magnetic anisotropy of Co/Pt multilayer has been found to be dependent on the degree of oxidation at the interface of tunnel barrier and Co adjacent layer. It has been observed that magnetization of Co/Pt multilayer is tilted when Co layer adjacent to tunnel barrier is relatively thick, which is attributed to the lack of interfacial anisotropy contribution near the interface of Co adjacent layer and AlOx barrier. Interfacial oxidation treated on the monolayer thick Co adjacent layer has enhanced perpendicular magnetic anisotropy of the entire Co/Pt multilayer electrodes, enabling sharp transition between well-defined parallel and anti-parallel states at micro-fabricated perpendicular magnetic tunnel junctions of ~100 Omega ldr mum2 resistance-area product.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2008