Correlations between atomic structure and giant magnetoresistance ratio in Co2 (Fe,Mn)Si spin valves

Leonardo Lari, K. Yoshida, P. L. Galindo, J. Sato, J. Sizeland, D. Gilks, G. M. Uddin, Z. Nedelkoski, P. J. Hasnip, A. Hirohata, M. Oogane, Y. Ando, V. K. Lazarov

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We show that the magnetoresistance of Co2FexMn 1-xSi-based spin valves, over 70% at low temperature, is directly related to the structural ordering in the electrodes and at the electrodes/spacer (Co2FexMn1-xSi/Ag) interfaces. Aberration-corrected atomic resolution Z-contrast scanning transmission electron microscopy of device structures reveals that annealing at 350°C and 500°C creates partial B2/L21 and fully L2 1 ordering of electrodes, respectively. Interface structural studies show that the Ag/Co2FexMn1-xSi interface is more ordered compared to the Co2FexMn1-xSi/Ag interface. The release of interface strain is mediated by misfit dislocations that localize the strain around the dislocation cores, and the effect of this strain is assessed by first principles electronic structure calculations. This study suggests that by improving the atomic ordering and strain at the interfaces, further enhancement of the magnetoresistance of CFMS-based current-perpendicular-to-plane spin valves is possible.

Original languageEnglish
Article number322003
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2014


  • half-metals
  • Heusler alloys
  • spintronics materials
  • thin films

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