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The N and Ar ions have been irradiated on the Co-based amorphous ribbon to investigate the mechanism of the abrupt increase of the giant magneto-impedance (GMI) response. The M-H loop parameters and grazing incident X-ray diffraction were used to characterize the samples before and after ion irradiation. The GMI ratio increased considerably in the ion irradiated samples and GMI response showed strong dependency on the irradiated ion species and driving frequencies. Substantial modifications of the magnetic properties such as increase of coercivity and change of saturation magnetization were observed in the ion irradiated samples.