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Exchange-biased spin valves with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy based on (Co/Pt) multilayers

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5 Author(s)
Garcia, F. ; Unité de Recherche Associée SPINTEC, CEA/Grenoble, DRFMC, 38054 Grenoble Cedex, France ; Fettar, F. ; Auffret, S. ; Rodmacq, B.
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We have prepared spin valves exhibiting perpendicular magnetic anisotropy [perpendicular spin valves (PSVs)] by sputtering. These PSVs associate a “free” (Co/Pt) multilayer with a “pinned” (Co/Pt)/FeMn multilayer separated by various spacer materials (Pt, Cu, Al2O3). We carried out a comprehensive study of the magnetic and magnetotransport properties of the biased multilayers and of the complete spin valves. When the number of repeats in the (Co/Pt) exchange-biased multilayer is larger than 3, the samples present 100% remnant magnetization in the perpendicular configuration. The major hysteresis cycles exhibit two well-separated loops associated with the free and the exchange-biased (Pt/Co) multilayers. When optimized, the exchange-bias field can be larger than the coercivity of the pinned layer. Metallic PSVs with Cu spacers exhibit giant magnetoresistance but the amplitude is only of the order of 1% due to significant current shunting. In contrast, perpendicularly magnetized tunnel junctions are very promising. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:93 ,  Issue: 10 )

Date of Publication:

May 2003

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