Atomic-scale structural analyses of epitaxial Co/Re superlattices

Wentao Xu; De Long, Lance E.; Charlton, Timothy; Chisholm, Matthew; Lederman, David
November 2004
Applied Physics Letters;11/1/2004, Vol. 85 Issue 18, p4082
Academic Journal
High-resolution transmission electron microscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) have been used to investigate atomic-scale structural properties of Co/Re trilayers and superlattices grown via magnetron sputtering. The sample growth was epitaxial with the (1010) plane of Co and Re parallel to the (1 120) plane of Al2O3, and the [001] direction of Re and Co coinciding with that of the Al2O3. Both low-angle and high-angle Z-contrast STEM images show a very uniform layer thickness. However, the interface roughness between the Re and Co layers monotonically increases with interface distance from the substrate. These results strongly imply that, in the epitaxial Re/Co superlattice system, interface roughness plays a more important role in the giant magnetoresistance effect than thickness fluctuations of the spacer layer. Previous anisotropic magnetoresistance measurements can he explained in terms of the observed atomic-scale structure.


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