Interlayer diffusion and specularity aspects of amorphous CoNbZr-based spin-valves

Ho Gun Cho, Young Kim Kim, Seong Rae Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Interlayer diffusion, thermal stability, and specular scattering behaviors of spin-valves (SV) where CoNbZr films were employed in as under and capping layers have been investigated. CoNbZr 2 (or Ta 5)/CoFe/Cu/CoFe/IrMn/CoNbZr 0∼10 (or Ta 5) nm stacks were sputter-deposited on Si/SiO2 substrates. Both normalized MR ratio and exchange bias field (Hex) of a conventional Ta-based SV decreased monotonically about 50% upon exposure to postdeposition annealing at 300 °C. On the contrary, these values increased about 50% for CoNbZr-based SVs, in particular, as CoNbZr capping thickness was less than 4 nm. Surface depth profiling results suggest that Mn diffused into the pinned CoFe layer (inward) but not into the Ta capping layer (outward) for the Ta-based SV. Unlike in the Ta capping case, a CoNbZr capping layer promoted outward Mn diffusion resulting in a formation of thin Mn-oxide layer at the surface. We attribute the increase of MR ratio in CoNbZr-capped SVs to enhanced specularity due to the presence of thin Mn-oxide. However, the specular scattering effect is reduced by increasing the thickness of CoNbZr capping layer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2685-2687
Number of pages3
JournalIEEE Transactions on Magnetics
Issue number5 I
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Sept
Event2002 International Magnetics Conference (Intermag 2002) - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 2002 Apr 282002 May 2

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received February 14, 2002; revised April 14, 2002. This work was supported by the Korea Ministry of Science and Technology under the National Research Laboratory Program, Contract NANO-MAT2G-10, the National Program for Tera-level Nanodevices, and the Basic Research Program of the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation under Grant 2000-2-30100-009-3.


  • Amorphous CoNbZr
  • Specularity
  • Spin valves
  • Thermal stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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