Interface reaction of Ta/Ni[sub 81]Fe[sub 19] or Ni[sub 81]Fe[sub 19]/Ta and its suppression

Yu, G. H.; Zhao, H. C.; Li, M. H.; Zhu, F. W.; Lai, W. Y.
January 2002
Applied Physics Letters;1/21/2002, Vol. 80 Issue 3, p455
Academic Journal
Ta/Ni[sub 81]Fe[sub 19] and Ni[sub 81]Fe[sub 19]/Ta structures are commonly used in the magnetic multilayers with giant magnetoresistance. For a Ta/Ni[sub 81]Fe[sub 19]/Ta fundamental structure, Ta seed and Ta cap layers resulted in a loss of moment equivalent to a magnetically dead layer of thickness 1.6±0.2 nm. In order to find out the reason, the composition and chemical states at the interface regions of Ta/Ni[sub 81]Fe[sub 19] and Ni[sub 81]Fe[sub 19]/Ta were studied using the x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and peak decomposition technique. The results show that there are thermodynamically favorable reactions at the Ta/Ni[sub 81]Fe[sub 19] and Ni[sub 81]Fe[sub 19]/Ta interfaces: 2Ta+Ni=NiTa[sub 2]. However, the thickness of a magnetically dead layer was significantly reduced by the insertion of a small amount of Bi in the Ta/Ni[sub 81]Fe[sub 19]/Ta structure. This result indicates that a surfactant Bi can suppress the interface reaction in multilayers. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.


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