Damage recovery by reductive chemistry after methanol-based plasma etch to fabricate magnetic tunnel junctions

Keizo Kinoshita, Tadashi Yamamoto, Hiroaki Honjo, Naoki Kasai, Shoji Ikeda, Hideo Ohno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The damage recovery process for magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) after methanol-(Me-OH) based plasma etch has been demonstrated. Me-OH and O 2 plasma, which contain oxygen in the molecule, caused unavoidable modification of magnetic materials in the MTJ stack. For example, the magnetization saturation and MR ratio decreased. H 2 base reductive plasma treatment was effective in recovering from this deterioration. No harmful side effects were observed in other aspects of MTJ performance such as MTJ resistance, hysteresis loop offset, and switching field. Heavier initial damage required a longer treatment time for recovery. Other types of reductive chemistry such as NH 3 plasma deteriorated the MTJ when the treatment lasted more than 15s, probably due to nitridation. The use of a highly selective Ar/Me-OH etch process along with He/H 2 plasma recovery treatment is very promising for the MTJs' etch process to fabricate high-density magnetic random access memory (MRAM) and non-volatile logic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number08HA01
JournalJapanese journal of applied physics
Volume51
Issue number8 PART 2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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