Perpendicular Anisotropy Controlled by Seed and Capping Layers of Heusler-Alloy Films

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Half-metallic Heusler alloys typically have in-plane magnetic anisotropy, which can be converted to perpendicular by attaching MgO or heavy metal, e.g., Pt, layers as similarly applied for conventional ferromagnets. Recently we have found body-centered cubic (bcc) seed layers, e.g., V and W, to induce perpendicular anisotropy in Heusler-alloy films above, however, they show small giant magnetoresistance (GMR) ratios in spin-valve structures to date. This is partially because of the large resistivity of the seed layer and the nonmagnetic layer in the spin-valve. In this study, we have systematically investigated nonmagnetic overlayers and have found that a Ag layer best maintains the perpendicular anisotropy. The corresponding GMR devices have then been fabricated and characterized, achieving the GMR ratio of  0.03% at room temperature. Such bcc seed layers can offer an alternative method for perpendicularlymagnetizedGMRjunctions for applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1629-1633
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number4
Early online date13 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2021

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