Observation of boron diffusion in an annealed Ta/CoFeB/MgO magnetic tunnel junction with standing-wave hard x-ray photoemission

A. A. Greer, A. X. Gray, S. Kanai, A. M. Kaiser, S. Ueda, Y. Yamashita, C. Bordel, G. Palsson, N. Maejima, S. H. Yang, G. Conti, K. Kobayashi, S. Ikeda, F. Matsukura, H. Ohno, C. M. Schneider, J. B. Kortright, F. Hellman, C. S. Fadley

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48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The CoFeB/MgO system shows promise as a magnetic tunnel junction with perpendicular magnetization and low critical current densities for spin-torque driven magnetization switching. The distribution of B after annealing is believed to be critical to performance. We have studied the distribution of B in a Ta/Co0.2Fe0.6B0.2/MgO sample annealed at 300°C for 1 h with standing-wave hard x-ray photoemission spectroscopy (SW-HXPS). Comparing experimental rocking curve data to x-ray optical calculations indicates diffusion of 19.5 of the B uniformly into the MgO and of 23.5 into a thin TaB interface layer. SW-HXPS is effective for probing depth distributions in such spintronic structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number202402
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume101
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov 12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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