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Ion beam deposition and structural characterization of GMR spin valves

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3 Author(s)
S. X. Wang ; Dept. of Mater. Sci. & Eng., Stanford Univ., CA, USA ; W. E. Bailey ; C. Surgers

NiO exchange-biased “bottom” spin valves of the type NiO/NiFe/Co/Cu/Co/NiFe and FeMn exchange-biased “top” spin valves of the type NiFe/Co/Cu/Co/NiFe/FeMn were deposited by ion-beam deposition (except the NiO layer). Their magnetic properties, magneto-transport, and microstructures are characterized and compared with corresponding GMR spin valves deposited by dc magnetron sputtering. High-resolution cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction reveal microstructural differences between ion-beam-deposited and dc magnetron sputtered spin valves. In particular, film texture, surface morphology, GMR ratio, exchange bias, interlayer coupling strength, and coercivity vary widely, but property-structure-processing correlation can be identified. A GMR ratio of ~9.7% was obtained on random textured NiO exchange-biased bottom spin valves by ion-beam deposition

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Magnetics  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 3 )