skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Modulation of interlayer exchange coupling strength in magnetic tunnel junctions via strain effect

Interlayer exchange coupling of two ferromagnetic electrodes separated by a thin MgO tunnel barrier is investigated using magneto-optical Kerr effect. We find that the coupling field can be reduced by more than 40% as the thickness of a top Ta capping layer increases from 0.5 to 1.2 nm. In contrast, a similar film stack with an additional 3 nm Ru capping layer displays no such dependence on Ta thickness. Transmission electron microscopy study shows that the oxidation of the exposed Ta capping layer induces changes in the crystalline structures of the underlying films, giving rise to the observed reduction of the interlayer coupling field.
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Western Digital Corporation, 44100 Osgood Road, Fremont, California 94539 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22492384
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Advances; Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 9; Other Information: (c) 2015 Author(s); Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; COUPLING; CRYSTAL STRUCTURE; DIFFUSION BARRIERS; ELECTRODES; FERROMAGNETIC MATERIALS; FERROMAGNETISM; FILMS; KERR EFFECT; LAYERS; MAGNESIUM OXIDES; MAGNETO-OPTICAL EFFECTS; MODULATION; OXIDATION; REDUCTION; RUTHENIUM; STRAINS; TANTALUM; TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY; TUNNEL EFFECT