Spin-valve properties are adversely affected by heat treatments and in order to study this effect, microstructural analyses of Ti/Co/Cu/Co/MnFe/Ti spin-valve films annealed at 225 and at 290°C have been performed. Whereas the lower temperature tends to optimize the giant magnetoresistance (GMR) ratio, the higher temperature induces a significant decrease in the GMR ratio (from 7.5% to 5.2%). High resolution electron microscopy studies have explained this result as being due to the formation of a TiCo alloy at the Ti/Co interface and to a decrease in the thickness of the sense layer. No significant modification of either the Co/Cu or the Cu/Co interfaces has been observed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)