The magnetic properties of the perpendicular storage electrode (buffer/MgO/FeCoB/Cap) were studied as a function of annealing temperature by replacing Ta with W and W/Ta cap layers with variable thicknesses. W in the cap boosts up the annealing stability and increases the effective perpendicular anisotropy by 30% compared to the Ta cap. Correspondingly, an increase in the FeCoB critical thickness characterizing the transition from perpendicular to in-plane anisotropy was observed. Thicker W layer in the W(t)/Ta 1 nm cap layer makes the storage electrode highly robust against annealing up to 570 °C. The stiffening of the overall stack resulting from the W insertion due to its very high melting temperature seems to be the key mechanism behind the extremely high thermal robustness. The Gilbert damping constant of FeCoB with the W/Ta cap was found to be lower when compared with the Ta cap and stable with annealing. The evolution of the magnetic properties of bottom pinned perpendicular magnetic tunnel junctions (p-MTJ) stack with the W2/Ta1 nm cap layer shows back-end-of-line compatibility with increasing tunnel magnetoresistance up to the annealing temperature of 425 °C. The pMTJ thermal budget is limited by the synthetic antiferromagnetic hard layer which is stable up to 425 °C annealing temperature while the storage layer is stable up to 455 °C.
Enhanced annealing stability and perpendicular magnetic anisotropy in perpendicular magnetic tunnel junctions using W layer
Jyotirmoy Chatterjee, Ricardo C. Sousa, Nicolas Perrissin, Stéphane Auffret, Clarisse Ducruet, Bernard Dieny; Enhanced annealing stability and perpendicular magnetic anisotropy in perpendicular magnetic tunnel junctions using W layer. Appl. Phys. Lett. 15 May 2017; 110 (20): 202401. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4983159
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