Browse Prior Art Database

Continuous Spacer Spin Valve Structure

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117616D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 4 page(s) / 74K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Fontana Jr, RE: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

Spin valve sensors have been longitudinally stabilized using contiguous junctions with hard or antiferromagnetic materials placed at the ends of the sensor as shown in Fig. 1. In this case, the longitudinal bias material is deposited directly over or onto the sloped sides of the junction region of the sensor. Since a variety of materials are present at this junction, it is difficult to control the magnetic properties of the longitudinal bias material on these various spin valve layers. Also, the taper of the junction geometry is difficult to control and the taper determines the amount or volume of magnetic spin valve material that is part of the junction area; hence, in contact with the magnetic longitudinal bias material.

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Continuous Spacer Spin Valve Structure

      Spin valve sensors have been longitudinally stabilized using
contiguous junctions with hard or antiferromagnetic materials placed
at the ends of the sensor as shown in Fig. 1.  In this case, the
longitudinal bias material is deposited directly over or onto the
sloped sides of the junction region of the sensor.  Since a variety
of materials are present at this junction, it is difficult to control
the magnetic properties of the longitudinal bias material on these
various spin valve layers.  Also, the taper of the junction geometry
is difficult to control and the taper determines the amount or volume
of magnetic spin valve material that is part of the junction area;
hence, in contact with the magnetic longitudinal bias material.

      For a particular class of spin valves with the free layer
deposited after or above the pinned layer, these problems can be
eliminated by depositing exchange or hard bias material directly onto
the free layer in localized end regions as shown in Fig. 2.  In this
case, the top cap layer is selectively removed in the end regions.
Also, in this design, the spacer layer remains continuous and the
free layer remains continuous.

      Such a structure can be fabricated by first applying resist to
the stack of sensor layers, removing the cap by either ion milling or
RIE and endpointing on the free layer, depositing an
antiferromagnetic material like NiMn or a hard bias material like
CoPtCr, a...