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Magnetic property and interface structure of Ta/NiO/NiFe/Ta

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Ta/NiO/NiFe/Ta multilayers, utilizing Ta as buffer layer, were prepared by rf reactive and dc magnetron sputtering. The exchange coupling field between NiO and NiFe reached a maximum value of 9.6 ×103 A/m at a NiO film thickness of 50 nm. The composition and chemical states at interface region of Ta/NiO/Ta were studied by using the Xray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and peak decomposition technique. The results show that there is an “intermixing layer” at the Ta/NiO (and NiO/Ta) interface due to a thermodynamically favorable reaction 2Ta + 5NiO = 5Ni + Ta2O5. This interface reaction has a great effect on exchange coupling. The thickness of Ni+NiO estimated by XPS depthprofiles is about 8–10 nm.

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Correspondence to Guanghua Yu.

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Yu, G., Chai, C., Zhu, F. et al. Magnetic property and interface structure of Ta/NiO/NiFe/Ta. Chin.Sci.Bull. 46, 438–440 (2001).

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  • NiO
  • interface reaction
  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
  • exchange coupling