Large magnetoresistance in Heusler alloy-based current perpendicular to plane giant magnetoresistance sensors

N. Saenphum, J. Chureemart, R. F.L. Evans, R. W. Chantrell, P. Chureemart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increasing the data storage in next-generation hard disk drives requires a reduction in the physical dimensions of read sensors. Tunneling magnetoresistance heads yield high magnetoresistance (MR) ratio but with a high resistance-area product (RA) that is suboptimal for devices. Giant magnetoresistance (GMR) head using different materials is an alternative way to improve reader performance with high MR ratio and low RA. In this paper, we theoretically study the effect of material properties and the layer thickness on RA and MR ratio in a trilayer system via an atomistic model combined with the spin transport model. The GMR stack can be constructed by the atomistic model and the RA and MR ratio can be directly calculated by considering the spin accumulation and spin current from the spin transport model. It is found that the spin valve using the (Figure presented) Heusler alloy electrode with high spin polarization exhibits a high MR ratio and RA of 64 (Figure presented) which is better than the spin valves using conventional ferromagnets such as Co, NiFe and CoFe. Moreover, we consider the thickness dependence of the change of RA ((Figure presented)). Increasing the free layer thickness yields the increase in (Figure presented) and MR ratio because of the enhancement of the bulk spin scattering. Additionally, the results show that the (Figure presented) depends on the spin diffusion length of the nonmagnetic materials ((Figure presented)). The (Figure presented) increases from 3 up to 10 (Figure presented) when (Figure presented) increases from 35 to 1200 nm. This investigation shows the possibility for read head design of HDDs with areal density beyond 2 Tb in-2.

Original languageEnglish
Article number395004
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

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  • atomistic model
  • Heusler alloy-based CPP-GMR sensors
  • spin accumulation model

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