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Fabrication of current-induced magnetization switching devices using etch-back planarization process

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6 Author(s)
Ding, Yunfei ; Grandis Inc., R&D Department, 1266 Cadillac Court, Milpitas, California 95035and MINT Center, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455 ; Pakala, Mahendra ; Nguyen, Paul ; Meng, Hao
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A patterning process for nanoscale current-perpendicular-to-plane magnetic devices was developed. Spin valve and magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) pillars are patterned using electron-beam lithography and subsequent hard mask deposition and ion milling. Photoresist etch-back method is used to planarize the insulation layer, deposited on top of the spin valve/MTJ pillars, prior to top lead deposition. This method allows for a reduction of shadowing effect associated with the use of resist mask for ion milling. Critical switching current of ∼6×107A/cm2 was observed for spin valve nanopillars with clear field dependence of the switching current, which is comparable to the reported value for metallic system.

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:97 ,  Issue: 10 )