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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)