Structure analysis and local magnetic parameters of magnetoresistance tunnel junctions

Cheol Gi Kim, Chong Oh Kim, Yongkang Hu, Jarosław Kanak, Tomasz Stobiecki, Satoshi Ogata, Masakiyo Tsunoda, Migaku Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Magnetic Tunnel Junctions (MTJs) were deposited by DC magnetron sputtering method in the following layer sequence: Ta(50 Å)/Cu(100 Å)/Ta(50 Å)/Ni80Fe20(20 Å)/Cu(50 Å)Mn75Ir25(100 Å) /Co70Fe 30(25 Å)/Al-O/Co70Fe30(25 Å)/Ni80Fe20(t)/Ta(50 Å)/, with t = 0 Å, 100 Å and 1000 Å. X-ray diffraction analysis revealed that highly oriented fcc (111) of IrMn3, Cu, Ni80Fe20 and Co70Fe30 crystal planes are stacked parallel to the substrate plane. An improvement of (111) texture and crystallinity was observed after annealing. The tunneling magnetoresistance ratio of patterned junction with electrode layer of Ni80Fe20 (t = 1000 Å) deposited on the free layer of Co70Fe30 (25 Å) exceeds 40% at a room temperature after annealing at 200°C in the magnetic field of 1 kOe. Local hysteresis loops were measured using the magneto-optical Kerr effect system. Relatively irregular variations of the coercive force H c and unidirectional anisotropy field Hua in as-deposited sample are revealed. After 200°C annealing, the Hc decreases but Hua increases with smooth local variations. Two-dimensional plots of Hc and Hua show symmetric saddle shapes with their axes aligned with the pinned layer. The distribution of surface roughness is symmetric with respect to the centre of MTJ. Correlation between surface roughness and the variation of Hua suggests that the Hua variation of the free layer is well described by dipole interactions in the form of so-called Néel "orange peel" coupling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-23
Number of pages15
JournalMaterials Science-Poland
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Coercive force
  • Exchange coupling
  • MOKE
  • Surface roughness
  • TMR
  • XRD


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