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Cu Cap Which Prevents Ta Oxidation On Top Of SV In Lead-Overlay Recording Head

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015980D
Original Publication Date: 2002-May-10
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-21

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a Cu capping layer for spin-valve and spin-tunneling sensors for use in recording heads. Conventionally, such sensors are capped with Ta which oxidizes naturally when exposed to air. The naturally-occuring surface oxide on the Ta cap prevents ohmic contact between lead and sensor. This problem is acute in the lead-overlay head design. The disclosed invention is a Cu cap which is deposited in the same process equipment as the Ta layer. This acts as a oxidation barrier. In addition, this cap can be removed from the active region of the sensor with wet chemistry such as dilute nitric acid which will stop on Ta. A process flow which makes use of the disclosed capping layer is shown in figure 1, below. 1