The microstructure and chemistry of a current-perpendicular-to-plane giant magnetoresistance structure containing a nano-oxide layer (NOL) have been studied using a combination of high resolution transmission electron microscopy and three-dimensional atom probe analysis. It was found that the morphology of the NOL changes from a planar layer to discrete particles on annealing, indicating the dominance of surface energy on the morphology evolution. Direct evidence was obtained for significant Mn diffusion from the IrMn antiferromagnetic layer and partitioning to the oxide region during annealing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)