Titled and graded anisotropy FePt and FePtCu thin films for the application of hard disk drive and spin torque oscillators
2011 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
The FePt and FePtCu thin films with graded anisotropy and titled anisotropy are utilized to solve both the magnetic recording ‘‘trilemma’’ of the hard disk drives (HDDs) and the large field operation problem of spin torque oscillators (STOs). We have successfully realized the FePtCu thin films with graded anisotropy. During deposition a compositional gradient is achieved by continuously varying the Cu content from the top to bottom. After annealing at proper temperatures, the top Cu-poor regions remain at soft A1 phase, while the bottom Cu-rich regions transform into hard L1 0phase. Hence the gradient anisotropy is established through the film thickness. The critical role of the annealing temperatures (TA) on the resultant anisotropy gradient is investigated. Magnetic measurements support the creation of an anisotropy gradient in properly annealed films which exhibit both the reduced coercivity and moderate thermal stability. In conjunction of the fabrication, the subsequent analysis of the graded material is not trivial. The reversal mechanism of graded anisotropy have been investigated by alternation gradient magnetometer (AGM) and magneto optical Kerr effect (MOKE) measurements with first order reversal curves (FORC) technique. The AGM-FORC analysis, which clearly shows the soft and hard phases, is not able to resolve how these phases are distributed through the film thickness. MOKE-FORC measurement which preferentially probes the surface of the film, reveal that the soft components are indeed located toward the top surface. The TA plays a critical role in the induced anisotropy gradient. We provide a detailed study of the how the anisotropy gradient in a compositional graded FePtCu film gradually develops as a function of the TA. By utilizing the in-situ annealing and magnetic characterization capability of a physical property measurement system, the evolution of the induced anisotropy gradient is elucidated. These results are important and useful for the application of HDDs. In order to achieve the zero-field operation for STOs, we have successfully fabricated pseudo spinvalves based on L1 0(111) textured FePt or FePtCu. We demonstrate magnetoresistance(MR) in excess of 4% in FePt/CoFe/Cu/CoFe/NiFe pseudo spin valves based on L10(111)-oriented FePt fixed layers with a 36 ° out-of-plane tilted magnetization. The high MR is achieved by increasing the spin polarization at the Cu interfaces, using thin CoFe, and optimizing the FePt growth and Cu interface quality using Ta and Ta/Pt underlayers.We observe well-separated switching of the FePt/CoFe fixed layer and the CoFe/NiFe free layer, suggesting that CoFe is rigidly exchange coupled to FePt and NiFe in the respective layers. Futuremore, through optimization of the Cu spacer thickness, we demonstrate MR up to 5% in FePtCu/CoFe/Cu/CoFe/NiFe pseudo spin valves based on L10 (111) FePtCu fixed layers with a tilted magnetization. We find an optimum spacer thickness of about 2.4 nm which correlates with a clear onset of strong interlayer exchange coupling below 2.4 nm and spin-independent current shunting in the spacer above 2.4 nm. These results are an important milestone for future applications of tilted spin polarizers in STOs.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kista: KTH Royal Institute of Technology , 2011. , v, 65 p.
Trita-ICT/MAP AVH, ISSN 1653-7610 ; 2011:08
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-34013ISBN: 978-91-7415-996-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-34013DiVA: diva2:418547
2011-05-31, C1, Isafjordsgatan 22, Kista, 10:00 (English)
Delin, Anna, Universitetslektor
Åkerman, Johan, Forskare
QC 201105252011-05-252011-05-232011-05-25Bibliographically approved
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