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Proceedings of The 3rd Asian Physics Symposium (APS 2009

July 22 – 23, Bandung, Indonesia

Effect of Ferromagnetic Layer Thickness on the Giant Magnetoresistance
Properties of NiCoFe/Cu/NiCoFe Sandwich

Ramli1,3 , Mitra Djamal1, and Khairurrijal2
Theoretical High Energy Physics and Instrumentation Research Group, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural
Sciences, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Jl. Ganesa 10, Bandung 40132, Indonesia
Physics of Electronic Material Research Group, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Institut Teknologi
Bandung, Jl. Ganesa 10, Bandung 40132, Indonesia
Department of Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Universitas Negeri Padang,
Jl. Prof. Dr. Hamka Airtawar Padang 25131, Indonesia

We have grown NiCoFe/Cu/NiCoFe sandwich onto Si (111) substrates by opposed target magnetron
sputtering (OTMS) technique. The growth paramaters are: temperature of 100 oC, applied voltage of 600 Volt, flow
rate of the Argon of 100 sccm, and growth pressure of 5.2 x 10-1 Torr. The effects of ferromagnetic layer thickness
on giant magnetoresistance (GMR) properties of NiCoFe/Cu/NiCoFe sandwich were studied. At room temperature,
we have found the changes in the magnitudo of giant magnetoresistance (GMR) ratio of the samples as the thickness
ferromagnetic was varied. We observed that the GMR ratio of NiCoFe/Cu/NiCoFe sandwich was change with
different ferromagnetic layer thicknes (tNiCoFe). The magnitudo of GMR ratio with constant Cu layer thikness (tCu =
13.2 nm) are; 10.5%, 24.4%, 70.0% and 30.1% for 40.0 nm, 47.5 nm, 62.5 nm, and 100.0 nm of NiCoFe layer
thickness ,respectively. In this paper, the influence of spin-dependent scattering to GMR value were studied. The
decrease in GMR at low thickness of NiCoFe is due to the scattering at the outer boundaries (substrate, buffer layer
or capping layer). This scattering significantly affects GMR when the thickness of the ferromagnetic layer becomes
smaller than the longer of the two mean-free paths associated with the spin up and spin down of electrons.

Keywords : Giant magnetoresistance, Opposed Target Magnetron Sputtering, NiCoFe, Spin-dependent scattering

1. Introduction relaxation is balanced with the spin accumulation at
the layer interfaces when electrons move in the
Giant magnetoresistance (GMR) effect direction perpendicular to the interfaces. The spin-
observed in magnetic multilayer films consisting of flip scattering is quantitatively described by the spin-
alternating magnetic and nonmagnetic layers diffusion length. When the layer thicknesses are
represents a relatively large change in the electrical much shorter than the spin diffusion length, the
resistance when an external magnetic field is applied Valet-Fert model simply represents the same as the
to the films. The effects of GMR has been a focus of series-resistor model.
intensive study for two decades, both for interesting In this study, we are interested to sandwich
of fundamental physics [1,2] and important industrial of NiCoFe/Cu/NiCoFe, which the NiCoFe alloy have
applications as sensors, memory, and read head a soft magnetic properties. We investigate the GMR
applications [3,4]. effect with different thickness of NiCoFe layers at
GMR can be qualitatively understood using room temperature.
the series-resistor model. The series-resistor model
was initially developed using the two-current model 2. Experiment
proposed by Mott [5]. The Mott model assumes that
NiCoFe/Cu/NiCoFe sandwich were grown
no spin-flip scattering occurs during the transport of
onto Si (111) substrate by dc-opposed target
electrons and that the currents through the two magnetron sputtering (dc-OTMS) technique. The
different spin channels (spin up and spin down) are sputtering targets were NiCoFe and Cu. The NiCoFe
described independently. Under these assumptions, target was prepared by solid reaction method with
the conduction through these spin channels occur in molar ratio Ni:Co:Fe = 60:30:10. Raw material for
parallel. producing NiCoFe target consists of 99.90% nickel
Valet and Fert [6] proposed a different powder, 99.99% cobalt powder and 99.99% iron
model that modified the series-resistor model and powder. The Cu target also had been made by solid
took into account the spin relaxation due to spin-flip reaction from 99.50% copper powder.
scattering in addition to the normal relaxation of
Samples of the NiCoFe/Cu/NiCoFe
electrons associated with momentum. For the steady-
sandwich were deposited in several different time of
state spin transport in a magnetic multilayer, the spin


3 shows the GMR ratio curves for NiCoFe/Cu/NiCoFe sandwich with various NiCoFe layer thickness (tNiCoFe) and fixed Cu layer thickness Fig. GMR ratio (%) = {(RH – R0)/R0}x100%.5 nm. Results show with tNiCoFe = 62. 1. The selected sample of NiCoFe/Cu/NiCoFe sandwich had characteristic of surface structure as shown in SEM image in Fig. dc Voltage is 600 volt. XRD spectra for NiCoFe/Cu/NiCoFe sandwich (tCu = 14. The GMR ratio is calculated by using definition.2 x10-1 Torr. where RH is the resistance in presence of magnetic field and R0 is the resistance in absence of magnetic field.66 Ramli. Fig. XRD (X-Ray Diffraction).4 nm) at room temperature. 1.5 nm. 3. Fig. and the temperature is 1000C. SEM image of NiCoFe/Cu/NiCoFe sandwich with tNiCoFe = 62. Other deposition parameters are fixed. that magnitudo of both GMR ratio and saturation field (Hs) is vary.2. 3. the growth pressure is 5. Mitra Djamal. The increase of growth time increases the atoms which patched on the substrate.4 nm) at room temperature. Result and Discussion From previous work [7]. The samples were characterized using SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) type JEOL JSM- 6360 LA. Fig. Fig. and magnetoresistance measurements were made using a linear four-point probe method with current- perpendicular to-plane. we found that growth time influence the thin film thickness. This parameters are: flow rate of Ar gas is about 100 sccm. 2 shows X-ray diffraction spectra for NiCoFe/Cu/NiCoFe sandwich with tNiCoFe = 62. 4 describes the magnitudo of GMR ratio versus the magnetic layer thickness for NiCoFe/Cu/NiCoFe sandwich with a fixed non magnetic spacer layer thickness. Fig.5 nm. The magnitudo GMR . GMR ratio curves for NiCoFe/Cu/NiCoFe sandwich with various NiCoFe layer thickness (tNiCoFe) and fixed Cu layer thickness (tCu = 14. so that they had different thickness of sandwich layers. and Khairurrijal growth.

Ghosh. Speriosu. October. 3. Yousef. Cond. Magn. Daughton and Y. 4. 1. M.El. For large NiCoFe layer thickness. London. J. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Mathematics and Natural Science (ICMNS 2008). Creuzet. as observed in Fig. Fig. GMR ratio as function of tNiCoFe for 9. and Indra Andriana. A. Chazelas. Dieny. explained by the appearance of the inactive region Friederich and J. A. Binasch. B 39. Qachauo. observed in NiFe/Cu multilayers [9] and 4. Kadek Juliana Parwanta. Phys. Bandung. that has maximum GMR ratio at room . Vol.0 % at In sandwich structure. Rev. 136.N. The magnitudo of GMR ratio change nm. M. J. D. M. ferromagnetic layer becomes smaller than the longer of the two mean-free paths associated with the spin References up and spin down of electrons. Gurney and Williams. Suri. 335-359 (1994). which shunts the current. R. 3. 2472. F. Gupta. Petroff. S. Mater. 3. B. Magn.M. successful grown onto Si (111) substrate by opposed A. and shunts the current. G. and A. Le Gall. Lin. F. J. Mtalsi. M. Proc. Dogra. G. Ni60Co30Fe10. Lett. Nguyen At thickness of NiCoFe over 62. Mag. No. 368 (1936). With this material. Grover. 61. Mor. D. On the other hand. we 134441. Harfouni. 8. Mag. A. 29. 7099 (1993). 6. 4828 (1989). Mott. Chowdhury. K. 2008. Eitenne. J. F. Yulkifli. Baibich. W. Gowda. Saurenbach. B.5 temperature.5 nm the magnitudo GMR ratio decrease what could be Van Dau. V. 2008. C. the deccrease in tNiCoFe = 62. 5. Valet and A.5 nm. G. K. magnitudo of GMR ratio at low thickness of NiCoFe is due to the scattering on the outer surface like Acknowledgment substrate or buffer layer [8]. and H.2475 (1988). Tsang.. A 156. Y. NiCoFe/Cu/NiCoFe sandwich. 6. T. A. G.0 % at tNiCoFe = 62. Phys. 30. B. F. The NiCoFe/Cu/NiCoFe sandwich was Dey. Rev. Heim. K. 94-97 (2000). target magnetron sputtering. Fert. P. P. Grünberg. 6 (1994). K. P. This scattering This work was supported by Asahi Glass Foundation significantly affects GMR when the thickness of the (AGF) Grant. B 77. Fert. 28-30. with increasing NiCoFe layer thickness. Faris. Serie. IEEE Trans. Phys. K. Rev.Rev. T. J. B 48. Effect of Ferromagnetic Layer Thickness on the Giant Magnetoresistance ……………… 67 ratio possess a maksimum of 70.e. with increase of ferromagnetic (NiCoFe) layer thickness and presents a maksimum of 70. Broto. R. M. Djamal. IEEE Trans. N. Fontana. Ramli. S. Conclusion 10. This result as same as phenomenon was No. 4. 7. the inactive part appears in NiCoFe layer 2. (2008) have successful to find material composition i. Soc. G. Chen. 2705 (1993). Phys. electrodeposited Co-Cu/Cu multilayers [10]. Ravikumar. Hs decrease Zinn. Mater.