Real-time monitoring of plasma oxidation dynamics of subnanometer Al2O3 barriers for magnetic tunnel junctions

C.G.C.H.M. Fabrie, C.A.M. Knechten, J.T. Kohlhepp, H.J.M. Swagten, B. Koopmans, W.J.M. Jonge, de

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Abstract

We show that over-oxidn. of sub-nm thin Al2O3 barriers of magnetic tunnel junctions can be obsd. in real time using in situ differential ellipsometry measurements. The change in ellipsometry signal of Al layers grown on CoFe films is proportional to the amt. of oxidized metallic material. As a result, the deriv. of this signal is a direct measure of the oxidn. rate. Further anal. of this oxidn. rate allows us to det. the onset of the CoFe oxidn. We found the onset to be proportional to the deposited Al layer thickness. The amt. of CoO detd. from in situ XPS data on identical samples was found to be proportional to that obtained from ellipsometry. [on SciFinder (R)]
Original languageEnglish
Article number031909
Pages (from-to)031909-1/3
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume88
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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