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Nickel-Iron Sputter Process

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000037844D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-30
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Chesnutt, RB: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

A process and operating conditions have been developed to sputter deposit NiFe alloy suitable for use in the fabrication of a high performance magnetoresistive sensor. For optimum head performance, films must have near zero magnetostriction, low coercivity (Hc), and a high degree of change in resistance with a change in magnetic field direction (delta R/R). Other manufacturing requirements were tool throughput, tool/process availability, and control/stability of film electrical and magnetic properties.

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Nickel-Iron Sputter Process

A process and operating conditions have been developed to sputter deposit NiFe alloy suitable for use in the fabrication of a high performance magnetoresistive sensor. For optimum head performance, films must have near zero magnetostriction, low coercivity (Hc), and a high degree of change in resistance with a change in magnetic field direction (delta R/R). Other manufacturing requirements were tool throughput, tool/process availability, and control/stability of film electrical and magnetic properties.

The original plan was to optimize delta R/R, Hc, and resistivity. It was discovered, however, that the delta R/R response was more strongly influenced by film thickness not by process variables. In general, at any pressure in the range of our experimentation (10-20 microns) or table rotation(2-6 rpm), film resistivity can only be minimized by running high power and bias combinations. The Hc, however, displays a saddle effect and can be minimized by either low power - low bias or high power - medium bias processing conditions.

A central composite rotatable experiment was designed to find a set of operating conditions to deposit films with optimum performance, and minimum sensitivity to slight changes in tool and process variables. A set of operating conditions was found to satisfy all the above requirements: Forward power 1800 +/- 50 watts

Substrate bias -50 +/- 5 volts

Pressure (Argon) 15 +/- 1 microns

Pallet Rotation 5 +/- 1 rpm

Disclos...