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The growth and characterization of Fe/TaO/Co multilayers for spintronics applications
In this thesis, the effect of Ta buffer layer and the thickness of the Ta2O5 barrier layer on the structural and magnetic properties of Fe/Ta2O5/Co multilayers have been studied. XRD and AFM techniques were used for structural investigations and VSM was used for investigation of magnetic properties. Refractive index of the barrier layer was determined by ellipsometry technique. In this study, magnetic tunnel junctions have also been fabricated by using photolithography technique and then electrical and magnetoresistance measurements were done.The structural investigations showed that Ta under layer increases the crystalline quality of Fe layer and causes a change on magnetic parameters of Fe films. The AFM results showed that the range of the roughness for all layers is between 1.7 A and 6.3 A. When the thickness of the oxide layer was 4 nm, magnetic decoupling appears. Clear differences between the coercive fields of the ferromagnetic layers were observed in further increase of the barrier layer thickness. The effect of annealing on the Fe/TaOx/Co multilayer was studied and it was found that only the coercivity of Fe film increases with increasing temperature up to the 250C. Then, annealing at 400C showed a sharp decrease in the coercivity of Fe film indicating an intermixing at the interface of Fe/TaOx. Co minor loops showed that the magnetostatic coupling is large for thin barriers and decreases with increasing the barrier thickness. Electrical measurements showed that conduction occurs via tunneling electrons. However, no TMR ratio has been observed after magnetoresistance measurements.