Specular spin-valve films with an FeCo nano-oxide layer by ion-assisted oxidation

Hideaki Fukuzawa, Katsuhiko Koi, Hiroshi Tomita, Hiromi Niu Fuke, Hitoshi Iwasaki, Masashi Sahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


We compared the specular spin-valve films with an Fe 50Co 50 nano-oxide layer (NOL) and a Co 90Fe 10 NOL in a pinned layer, prepared by natural oxidation (NO) and ion-assisted oxidation (IAO). For the IAO, an Ar-ion beam was used for the energy-assist effect during the oxidation, resulting in thermally stable NOL formation. With small oxygen exposures during the oxidation for the Fe 50Co 50 NOL by IAO, good ferromagnetic coupling through the NOL and high specularity at the NOL interface were concurrently obtained. Moreover, twisted coupling through the NOL was observed for the Fe 50Co 50 NOL by IAO for higher oxygen exposures. On the other hand, the NO did not cause large magnetoresistance (MR) enhancement for either the Co 90Fe 10 or Fe 50Co 50 NOLs, and the Co 90Fe 10 NOL by IAO caused weak magnetic coupling through the NOL, resulting in a small MR ratio. The Fe 50Co 50 NOL for small oxygen exposures is a good candidate for a final specular spin-valve film head for 100-Giga-bit per square inch recording.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6684-6690
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number10 I
Publication statusPublished - 2002 May 15

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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