Effect of sputter gas on the physical and magnetic microstructure of Co/Cu multilayers

D.M. Donnet, K. Tsutsumi, P. de Haan, J.C. Lodder

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    The physical structure of Co/Cu multilayers, sputtered in different gases (Ar, Kr, and Xe) together with the domain structures that these films support have been investigated using electron microscopy in an attempt to explain the differences in their measured magnetoresistance (MR). Both planar and cross‐sectional analyses were undertaken. Due to only partial antiferromagnetic coupling submicron domain structures were observed by Lorentz microscopy in all multilayers. The complex nature of these domain structures made classification difficult, although small magnetic field application allowed wall motion and nucleation to be observed. All films were polycrystalline in nature, although average grains sizes differed. However, smoother interfaces together with less well defined crystal boundaries were observed in the Kr and Xe sputtered films. This trend did not correlate with giant MR (GMR) measurements as the Xe sputtered films had the lowest GMR value of the three.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6243-6245
    Number of pages2
    JournalJournal of Applied Physics
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 1996


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