Thermal stability of Cu and Fe nitrides and their applications for writing locally spin valves

Navío, C.; Alvarez, J.; Capitan, M. J.; Camarero, J.; Miranda, R.
June 2009
Applied Physics Letters;6/29/2009, Vol. 94 Issue 26, p263112
Academic Journal
We have studied the thermal stability of the Cu and Fe nitrides. These results show that a nanometer-thick Cu nitride film decomposes at the Fe4N growth temperature. Considering this, we propose for their use in spintronics, the room temperature growth of a nonmagnetic (FeN)/semiconducting (Cu3N) epitaxial nitride bilayer that transforms into a ferromagnetic (Fe4N)/metallic (Cu) one by mild thermal annealing at 700 K. This process can be employed to locally decompose by laser (or ion) irradiation FeN/Cu3N/Fe4N) trilayers, giving rise to an array of lithographically defined Fe4N/Cu/Fe4N spin valves surrounded by metal/semiconductor spacers.


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