The effect of rapid thermal anneal (RTA) has been investigated on the properties of an FeMn exchange-biased magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) using magnetoresistance and I-V measurements and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) in an as-grown MTJ is found to be ∼27%, while the TMR in MTJs annealed by RTA increases with annealing temperature up to 300°C, reaching ∼l46%. TEM images reveal that the interface of Al2O3 layer for the annealed MTJ has changed into a relatively clear morphology, as compared to that for the as-grown MTJ. The oxide barrier parameters are found to vary abruptly with annealing time within a few ten seconds. Our results demonstrate that the present RTA enhances the thermal stability of MTJs.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Program for Tera-level Nanodevices of the Ministry of Science and Technology and the research grant of Kwangwoon University in 2000.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics