We report the crystallization study of CoFeB/MgO/CoFeB magnetic tunnel junctions using in-situ, time-resolved synchrotron-based x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. It was found that the crystallization of amorphous CoFeB electrodes occurs on a time scale of seconds during the postgrowth high temperature annealing. The crystallization can be well fit by the Johnson-Mehl-Avrami model and the effective activation energy of the process was determined to be 150 kJ/mol. The solid-state epitaxy mode of CoFeB was found to involve separate crystallization at different locations followed by subsequent merging of small grains, instead of layer-by-layer growth of CoFeB film along the MgO template.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)