The impact of Hf layer thickness on the perpendicular magnetic anisotropy in Hf/CoFeB/MgO/Ta films

Minghua Li, Jinhui Lu, Mustafa Akyol, Xi Chen, Hui Shi, Gang Han, Tong Shi, Guanghua Yu, Ahmet Ekicibil, Nick Kioussis, P. V. Ong, Pedram Khalili Amiri, Kang L. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The impact of Hf layer thickness on magnetic anisotropy is evaluated for Hf/CoFeB/MgO/Ta multilayer films commonly used in magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs). An easy-axis magnetization transition from the in-plane to the out-of-plane direction is observed when the thickness of Hf is greater than ∼1.5 nm in our structure. Moreover, a critical Hf layer thickness exists for strong perpendicular magnetic anisotropy on the CoFeB/MgO interface that maintains the properties required for use in MTJs. We also perform X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) to study the effects of film composition, chemical states, and crystallization on the magnetic anisotropy in Hf/FeCoB/MgO/Ta multilayers with Hf layers of various thicknesses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-81
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Alloys and Compounds
Volume694
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

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