Study of boron diffusion in MgO in CoFeB|MgO film stacks using parallel electron energy loss spectroscopy

Mukherjee, Sankha S.; MacMahon, David; Feiming Bai; Chih-Ling Lee; Kurinec, Santosh K.
February 2009
Applied Physics Letters;2/23/2009, Vol. 94 Issue 8, p082110
Academic Journal
Boron diffusion in MgO has been investigated in annealed film stacks of sputtered CoFeB|MgO using transmission electron microscopy and parallel electron energy loss spectroscopy. The analyses show significant B movement when the films are annealed, with the formation of BOx complexes. Characteristic diffusion lengths have been estimated in films annealed at the commonly employed temperature range of 300–400 °C for the fabrication of magnetic tunnel junctions. An activation energy of 1.3 eV (±0.4 eV) has been extracted from these data that represent B diffusion in MgO through vacancies and defect states mediated by the formation of BOx complexes.


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