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In this study, the exchange coupling properties of submicron patterned Mnlr/CoFe bilayers with strong exchange coupling strength were investigated. The large area of 2.5 mm × 2.5 mm of submicron sized bilayer rings were fabricated by electron beam lithography and ion-milling processes. The clear variations of normalized magnetic hysteresis loops of patterned films are the degradation of pinned CoFe at the Mnlr/CoFe interfaces and the decrease of exchange bias field, comparing with sheet film. After post-field-annealing treatment, only the exchange field was improved. A magnetic tunnel junction ring with outer diameter/linewidth of 2/0.5 μm was constructed as well to further certify the speculations. The magnetoresistance loops of as-fabricated and post-field annealed MTJ ring revealed that the slightly improved magnetoresistance ratio and exchange field. These results were attributed to the rearrangement of distorted spins at the sample edges. However, in comparison with sheet film, the great degradation of magnetoresistance ratio of patterned device, without respect to as-fabricated or post-field annealed, was not retrieved, revealing that the futility of post-field-annealing treatment to the pinning portion of CoFe layer.
Date of Publication: March 2011