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Consistent Relationship Between the Tunnel Magnetoresistance of CoFeB/MgO/CoFeB Junctions and X-Ray Diffraction Properties

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4 Author(s)
Shin, Il-Jae ; Center for Spintronics Res., Korea Inst. of Sci. & Technol., Seoul ; Byoung-Chul Min ; Jin-Pyo Hong ; Kyung-Ho Shin

We have investigated the effect of Ar pressure during MgO sputtering on the tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) and resistance area (RA) product of CoFeB/MgO/CoFeB magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs). The TMR of MTJs with a thin MgO tunnel barrier deposited at different Ar pressures (1.3, 4, 10, and 25 mTorr) shows a consistent relationship with X-ray diffraction (XRD) properties of thick MgO films deposited with the same conditions. The deposition of the MgO-barrier at 1.3 mTorr results in a low TMR ratio and a high RA product due to the disordered MgO barrier and the oxidation of the bottom electrode of the MTJ, while the deposition at 25 mTorr results in a rough MgO barrier, and thereby gives rise to a large shift of switching field of the free layer due to the orange-peel coupling.

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Magnetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:45 ,  Issue: 6 )