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Structural Characterization of Epitaxial GMR Magnetic Multilayers and Spin Valves Grown by Sputter Deposition

  • H. Geng (a1), R. Loloee (a1), J.W. Heckman (a1), J. Bass (a2), W.P. Pratt (a2) and M.A. Crimp (a1)...


Epitaxial Cu/Py/FeMn and (Cu/Co)×20 GMR magnetic multilayers were grown on single crystal (011) Nb that was deposited on (1121) Al2O3 substrates by dc magnetron sputtering. Electron backscatter patterns (EBSPs) revealed that the Cu films display two twin variants, corresponding to two stacking sequences of {111} planes in fcc. The epitaxial orientation relationship between the bcc Nb and both fcc Cu variants was the Nishiyama-Wasserman (N-W) relationship. Conventional TEM observations revealed epitaxial growth for both the Cu/Py/FeMn and (Cu/Co)×20 multilayers. High-resolution TEM confirmed epitaxial growth of close packed (011) Nb on (1120) Al2O3 substrates with [111]Nb∥[0001]Al2O3. Numerous small twins were observed in the Cu near the Cu-Nb interface of the Cu/Py/FeMn multilayer. In the Cu/Co multilayer, the growth planes of the Cu and Co were found to be {100} instead of the expected close-packed {111} planes of the fcc structure.



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