Crystalline structure of oxide-based epitaxial tunnel junctions
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Mocuta, C., Barbier, A., Ramos, A. et al. Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top. (2009) 167: 53. doi:10.1140/epjst/e2009-00936-5
- 50 Downloads
Epitaxial metal/oxide based magnetic tunnel-junctions (MTJ) are valuable model systems to investigate the influence of the crystallinity of individual layers on the magnetic properties. We have non-destructively studied the effect of the optical lithography procedure on the crystalline structure of MTJ’s with lateral spatial resolution by performing local x-ray diffraction experiments using a microfocused x-ray spot. We demonstrate that the lithography process produces distortion effects on the crystalline structure of the layers near the edges of the lithographed junction. These distortions are present on all the constituent layers and are most probably driven by the elastic constants of the materials. They translate into tilts of the crystalline planes in the vicinity of the edges and propagate towards the center of the junction; the tilt’s amplitude (up to several degrees) and sign (concave or convex) depend on the junction’s shape, size and the type of materials (interfaces) used. We report results for junctions made with two types of metal-oxide interfaces (Co/CoFe2O4 and Co/Fe3O4), with sizes from 10 to 150 μm and various shapes (square-, rectangle- and disk-like).