Magnetic changes in GMR heads caused by electrostatic discharge

A. Wallash, Young K. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of current transients on the magnetic response of GMR sensors is studied. It is shown that GMR sensors with an FeMn exchange layer exhibit large magnetic changes after a single ESD current transient. The energy which results in magnetic failure is only 0.9 nJ, which is much less than the 6 nJ which causes physical melting damage to the GMR sensor. These serious magnetic changes are explained in terms of resetting of the FeMn exchange layer direction due to the elevated temperature and internal magnetic field during the current transient It is concluded that ESD stress testing of GMR sensors has revealed a new and important magnetic failure mechanism in GMR sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1519-1521
Number of pages3
JournalIEEE Transactions on Magnetics
Issue number4 PART 1
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • ESD
  • GMR
  • MR
  • Recording heads
  • Spin valve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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