X-ray diffraction study of the optimization of MgO growth conditions for magnetic tunnel junctions

Se Young O, Chan Gyu Lee, Alexander J. Shapiro, William F. Egelhoff, Mark D. Vaudin, Jennifer L. Ruglovsky, Jonathan Mallett, Philip W.T. Pong

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7 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have carried out a systematic study optimizing the MgO growth via preparation and sputtering conditions and underlayer structures. It was found that to prevent water vapor which is detrimental to MgO (200) growth, the chamber pressure needs to be reduced below 10-8 Torr. Simple underlayers such as 5 nm CoFeB tend to give better MgO, but we have also succeeded in growing MgO on more complicated underlayers such as 1 Ta/20 Au/5 Co40 Fe40 B20 and 1 Ta/20 conetic (Ni77 Fe14 Cu5 Mo4) 1.5 Co40 Fe40 B20 (units in nanometers). We accomplished this by extensive baking of the deposition chamber and use of Ti-getter films. Short sputtering distance and high sputtering power were found to optimize MgO deposition. We found that both preparation and sputtering conditions have important effects on the MgO growth. X-ray diffraction analysis was used as the characterization tool for optimizing the MgO growth conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number07A920
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume103
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy

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