(001)-oriented FeAlSi polycrystalline thin films with a flat surface and B2-ordered structure were grown on thermally oxidized SiO2 substrates using MgO buffer layers. The FeAlSi thin films composition-adjusted to the Sendust alloy exhibited a low coercivity (Hc) after the annealing process. We utilized these films as bottom electrodes of magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) and characterized their tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) effect. The TMR effect was 35.9% at room temperature. In addition, the TMR ratio increased to 51.0% when a thin CoFeB layer was inserted into the FeAlSi/MgO interface, without degrading the small switching field of the FeAlSi electrode. These MTJs with a small switching field and relatively high TMR ratio using the FeAlSi electrode are promising for highly sensitive MTJ-based magnetic sensor devices.
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