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Title: Microstructure and giant magnetoresistance in granular and multilayer magnetic thin films

Abstract

The microstructure and magnetic properties of phase-separated (FeAg, CoAg) granular and multilayer Permalloy (Py)/Au magnetic thin films exhibiting giant magnetoresistance (GMR) have been investigated. Surprisingly, two Fe-Ag films of similar composition grown under identical conditions and having substantially different microstructure yet display similar GMR. The microstructure of these films is characterized by Fe-rich or Co-rich regions respectively, 350--700 nm in extent and surrounded by a Ag-rich matrix. Within the Ag-rich regions, the Fe concentration varies from 20 to 25 atomic % and the Co concentration is {approximately}16 at%. Within these regions essentially pure fcc Co particles and bcc Fe particles are in parallel and rotated epitaxial alignment respectively with the fcc Ag matrix. The Co and Fe particles are {approximately}15 to 25{angstrom} in diameter. It is these small particles which account for the GMR exhibited by these alloys. This suggests that a size distribution of magnetic particles, sharply peaked at the optimum size with limited bulk segregation might give rise to larger GMR values. On the other hand, high resolution electron microscopy (HREM) analysis of as-grown Permalloy (Py)/Au multilayers in (111) orientation revealed that the Au and Py layers have sharp interfaces with defects such as twin boundaries and misfitmore » dislocations. The density of twin boundaries decreases from the Pt-seed layer to the top surface of the multilayer. An average of 1 twin boundary/195 nm{sup 2} has been observed. On mild annealing, the twin density decreases and the multilayer interfaces become rough. The magnetoresistance of the as-grown Py/Au multilayer decreased from 11% to 8% on annealing at 250 C for 40 minutes. Form the measured roughness and total thickness of Au layers it was found that Au preferentially intermixes with Py, which reduces the magnitude of GMR.« less

Authors:
;  [1];  [2]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA (United States). Materials Science Division
  2. IBM Almaden Research center, San Jose, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
131454
DOE Contract Number:  
AC03-76SF00098
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Scripta Metallurgica et Materialia
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 33; Journal Issue: 10-11; Other Information: PBD: 1 Dec 1995
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; IRON ALLOYS; MICROSTRUCTURE; MAGNETIC PROPERTIES; SILVER ALLOYS; COBALT ALLOYS; PERMALLOY; GOLD; FILMS; LAYERS; PARTICULATES; INTERFACES; PARTICLE SIZE; CRYSTAL LATTICES; ELECTRON MICROSCOPY; DEFECTS; DISLOCATIONS; TWINNING; ANNEALING

Citation Formats

Thangaraj, N, Krishnan, K M, and Farrow, R F.C. Microstructure and giant magnetoresistance in granular and multilayer magnetic thin films. United States: N. p., 1995. Web. doi:10.1016/0956-716X(95)00407-M.
Thangaraj, N, Krishnan, K M, & Farrow, R F.C. Microstructure and giant magnetoresistance in granular and multilayer magnetic thin films. United States. doi:10.1016/0956-716X(95)00407-M.
Thangaraj, N, Krishnan, K M, and Farrow, R F.C. Fri . "Microstructure and giant magnetoresistance in granular and multilayer magnetic thin films". United States. doi:10.1016/0956-716X(95)00407-M.
@article{osti_131454,
title = {Microstructure and giant magnetoresistance in granular and multilayer magnetic thin films},
author = {Thangaraj, N and Krishnan, K M and Farrow, R F.C.},
abstractNote = {The microstructure and magnetic properties of phase-separated (FeAg, CoAg) granular and multilayer Permalloy (Py)/Au magnetic thin films exhibiting giant magnetoresistance (GMR) have been investigated. Surprisingly, two Fe-Ag films of similar composition grown under identical conditions and having substantially different microstructure yet display similar GMR. The microstructure of these films is characterized by Fe-rich or Co-rich regions respectively, 350--700 nm in extent and surrounded by a Ag-rich matrix. Within the Ag-rich regions, the Fe concentration varies from 20 to 25 atomic % and the Co concentration is {approximately}16 at%. Within these regions essentially pure fcc Co particles and bcc Fe particles are in parallel and rotated epitaxial alignment respectively with the fcc Ag matrix. The Co and Fe particles are {approximately}15 to 25{angstrom} in diameter. It is these small particles which account for the GMR exhibited by these alloys. This suggests that a size distribution of magnetic particles, sharply peaked at the optimum size with limited bulk segregation might give rise to larger GMR values. On the other hand, high resolution electron microscopy (HREM) analysis of as-grown Permalloy (Py)/Au multilayers in (111) orientation revealed that the Au and Py layers have sharp interfaces with defects such as twin boundaries and misfit dislocations. The density of twin boundaries decreases from the Pt-seed layer to the top surface of the multilayer. An average of 1 twin boundary/195 nm{sup 2} has been observed. On mild annealing, the twin density decreases and the multilayer interfaces become rough. The magnetoresistance of the as-grown Py/Au multilayer decreased from 11% to 8% on annealing at 250 C for 40 minutes. Form the measured roughness and total thickness of Au layers it was found that Au preferentially intermixes with Py, which reduces the magnitude of GMR.},
doi = {10.1016/0956-716X(95)00407-M},
journal = {Scripta Metallurgica et Materialia},
number = 10-11,
volume = 33,
place = {United States},
year = {1995},
month = {12}
}