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Asymmetric Interfacial Perpendicular Magnetic Anisotropy in Pt/Co/Pt Trilayers

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4 Author(s)
Bandiera, S. ; SPINTEC, UJF, Grenoble, France ; Sousa, R.R. ; Rodmacq, B.B. ; Dieny, B.

An asymmetry in the interfacial anisotropies of Pt/Co and Co/Pt interfaces was observed in Pt/Co/Pt sputtered trilayers, the interfacial anisotropy arising from the bottom Pt/Co interface being significantly higher than that from the top Co/Pt one. Interdiffusion at the top interface is believed to be the main factor for this asymmetry. It dramatically decreases the anisotropy of the stack when the cobalt layer is thinner than 1 nm. By introducing ultrathin layers of materials immiscible with Co and acting as a diffusion barrier at the Co/Pt interface, the effective anisotropy can be doubled in this low Co thickness range. This is of great interest for spintronic devices, particularly for out-of-plane magnetized magnetoresistive random access memory structures that require high perpendicular magnetic anisotropy when their lateral dimensions are reduced below 45 nm.

Published in:

Magnetics Letters, IEEE  (Volume:2 )