Indirect exchange coupling between two ferromagnetic electrodes through ZnS barrier in magnetic tunnel junctions

Dinia, A.; Carrof, P.; Schmerber, G.; Ulhacq, C.
September 2003
Applied Physics Letters;9/15/2003, Vol. 83 Issue 11, p2202
Academic Journal
Room- and low-temperature magnetization measurements have been performed on magnetic tunnel junctions before patterning to evidence the presence of an indirect ferromagnetic exchange interaction between the hard and the soft ferromagnetic electrodes through the ZnS barrier. The magnetic junctions are composed of an artificial ferrimagnet CoFe/Ru/CoFe sandwich as a hard layer separated by a ZnS barrier from a soft CoFe/Fe soft layer as follows: Fe[sub 6 nm]Cu[sub 3 nm](CoFe)[sub 1.8 nm]Ru[sub 0.8 nm](CoFe)[sub 3 nm]ZnS[sub x nm]CoFe[sub 1 nm]Fe[sub 4 nm]Cu[sub 1 nm]Ru[sub 3 nm]. At room temperature, a large shift of about -25 Oe is observed in a magnetization minor loop that indicates the presence of a ferromagnetic interaction. The decrease of the amplitude of this shift at low temperature provides a signature of an indirect exchange coupling mediated by spin-polarized quantum tunneling. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.


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