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Low Resistance Tunnel Junctions With Remote Plasma Underoxidized Thick Barriers

R. Ferreira, P. Freitas, M. Mackenzie, J. Chapman
Published 2005 · Physics

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Low resistance tunnel junctions suitable for >200Gb∕inch2 read heads require R×A 10%, usually achieved by natural oxidation with tAl<0.7nm barriers. This paper shows that as-deposited junctions with competitive electrical and magnetic properties can be produced starting from 0.9nm Al barriers and remote plasma oxidation in ion beam-deposited stacks using Co73.8Fe16.2B10 electrodes. TMR∼20% for R×A∼2–15Ωμm2 is obtained, while in the R×A∼40–140Ωμm2 range TMR can reach 40%–45%, in as-deposited samples. A limited number of junctions exhibits considerably lower R×A values with respect to the average while keeping similar MR (down to 0.44Ωμm2 with 20% and down to 2.2Ωμm2 with 51%).
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