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Nanomaterials 2013, 3(4), 574-582; doi:10.3390/nano3040574
Article

Susceptibility of CoFeB/AlOx/Co Magnetic Tunnel Junctions to Low-Frequency Alternating Current

*  and
Received: 21 August 2013; in revised form: 8 October 2013 / Accepted: 10 October 2013 / Published: 15 October 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Magnetic Nanomaterials)
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Abstract: This investigation studies CoFeB/AlOx/Co magnetic tunneling junction (MTJ) in the magnetic field of a low-frequency alternating current, for various thicknesses of the barrier layer AlOx. The low-frequency alternate-current magnetic susceptibility (χac) and phase angle (θ) of the CoFeB/AlOx/Co MTJ are determined using an cac analyzer. The driving frequency ranges from 10 to 25,000 Hz. These multilayered MTJs are deposited on a silicon substrate using a DC and RF magnetron sputtering system. Barrier layer thicknesses are 22, 26, and 30 Å. The X-ray diffraction patterns (XRD) include a main peak at 2θ = 44.7° from hexagonal close-packed (HCP) Co with a highly (0002) textured structure, with AlOx and CoFeB as amorphous phases. The full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the Co(0002) peak, decreases as the AlOx thickness increases; revealing that the Co layer becomes more crystalline with increasing thickness. χac result demonstrates that the optimal resonance frequency (fres) that maximizes the χac value is 500 Hz. As the frequency increases to 1000 Hz, the susceptibility decreases rapidly. However, when the frequency increases over 1000 Hz, the susceptibility sharply declines, and almost closes to zero. The experimental results reveal that the mean optimal susceptibility is 1.87 at an AlOx barrier layer thickness of 30 Å because the Co(0002) texture induces magneto-anisotropy, which improves the indirect CoFeB and Co spin exchange-coupling strength and the χac value. The results concerning magnetism indicate that the magnetic characteristics are related to the crystallinity of Co.
Keywords: magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs); indirect exchange coupling; low-frequency alternate-current magnetic susceptibility (χac); resonance frequency (fres) magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs); indirect exchange coupling; low-frequency alternate-current magnetic susceptibility (χac); resonance frequency (fres)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, Y.-T.; Chang, Z.-G. Susceptibility of CoFeB/AlOx/Co Magnetic Tunnel Junctions to Low-Frequency Alternating Current. Nanomaterials 2013, 3, 574-582.

AMA Style

Chen Y-T, Chang Z-G. Susceptibility of CoFeB/AlOx/Co Magnetic Tunnel Junctions to Low-Frequency Alternating Current. Nanomaterials. 2013; 3(4):574-582.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chen, Yuan-Tsung; Chang, Zu-Gao. 2013. "Susceptibility of CoFeB/AlOx/Co Magnetic Tunnel Junctions to Low-Frequency Alternating Current." Nanomaterials 3, no. 4: 574-582.


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