We compare the blocking temperature for simple permalloy (80% Ni)/Au/permalloy/NiO spin valves with and without an interfacial, oxidized Fe layer (Fe layer 12 Å thick) inserted at the permalloy/NiO interface. We find a significantly increased blocking temperature and pinning field for spin valves with the interfacial Fe-oxide layer, as a result of moderate (230 °C/1 h) annealing of the Au/permalloy/Fe-oxide/NiO part of the spin valve. High resolution transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss microanalysis reveal that the Fe-oxide layer is converted to a cubic spinel ferrite (Ni0.8Fe2.2O4) layer by solid state reaction with the NiO.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)