Radical nitridation of Al films for the barrier formation in ferromagnetic tunnel junctions

Masakiyo Tsunoda, Toshihiro Shoyama, Satoru Yoshimura, Migaku Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Nitridation process of Al films using microwave-excited plasma was investigated to realize highly qualified Al-N barrier for magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs), in comparison with reactive deposition process of Al-N films. The MTJs fabricated by the plasma nitridation method with Kr+N 2 or Ar+N 2 mixed gas showed larger values of tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) ratio and resistance-area product (R×A) than those of the MTJs fabricated with He+N 2 plasma. The MTJs with reactive-deposited Al-N showed relatively small values of TMR ratio and R×A. From the optical emission spectroscopy of the respective plasma, we concluded that N 2 ion in the plasma is a responsible factor for lowering the barrier height of Al-N and that radical nitridation process is suitable to form the barriers without inducing defects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-166
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials
Volume286
Issue numberSPEC. ISS.
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Feb 1

Keywords

  • Al-N
  • Barrier formation
  • Magnetic tunnel junction
  • Nitridation
  • Tunnel magnetoresistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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