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Utility of reactively sputtered CuNx films in spintronics devices

Journal article
Authors Yeyu Fang
Johan Persson
C. Zha
J. Willman
C. W. Miller
Johan Åkerman
Published in Journal of Applied Physics
Volume 111
Issue 7
Pages 5 sidor artikel nr 073912
ISSN 0021-8979
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages 5 sidor artikel nr 073912
Language en
Keywords magnetic multilayers, tunnel-junctions, co/cu/co pillars, spin-waves, magnetoresistance, oscillators, excitation, exchange, emission, cu3n
Subject categories Physical Sciences


We have studied nitrified copper (CuNx) thin films grown by reactive sputtering in the context of spintronic devices. The Ar-to-N-2 flow ratio enables tunability of the electrical resistivity and surface roughness of the CuNx films, with the former increasing to nearly 20 times that of Cu, and the latter reduced to the atomic scale. Incorporating this into a Ta/CuNx/Ta seed stack for spin valves improves the current-in-plane (CIP) magnetoresistance; maximum magnetoresistance results with CuNx seed layer and Cu interlayer. Finally, finite element modeling results are presented that suggest the use of CuNx in nanocontact spin torque oscillators can enhance current densities by limiting the current spread through the device. This may positively impact threshold currents, power requirements, and device reliability. (C) 2012 American Institute of Physics. []

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