Multilevel magnetoresistance in a structure consisting of two spin-valves

Kebin Li, Yihong Wu*, Jinjun Qiu, Guchang Han, Zaibing Guo, Towchong Chong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The magnetic and electrical properties as well as the structural characteristics have been studied on a series of samples with structure substrate (Sub)/SV(1)/Al2O35nm/SV(2). Here, SV(1) is either CoFe/IrMn based spin-valve (SV) such as Ta5/NiFe2/IrMn8/CoFe2/Cu2.6/CoFe2/Ta5 (thicknesses are in nanometers) bottom SV or Ta5/NiFe2/CoFe1.5/Cu2.6/CoFe2/FeMn10/Ta5 top SV and SV(2) is Ta5/NiFe2/CoFe1.5(or 2)/Cu2.6/CoFe2/IrMn8/Ta5 top SV. SV(1) and SV(2) in the structure are decoupled by a Al2O3 layer with 5nm in the magnetic properties, however, they are in parallel connection in the electrical properties. In a sample with structure Sub/Ta5/NiFe2/IrMn8/CoFe2/Cu2.6/CoFe2/Ta5 /Al2O35/Ta5/NiFe2/CoFe2/Cu2.6/CoFe2/IrMn8/Ta5, five magnetoresistance states which are related to five magnetization states have been observed after the sample was annealed at T=220°C with a field strength of 1T under high vacuum because of different interlayer coupling fields (Hint) in the top and bottom CoFe/IrMn based SVS (Hint is about 12.21 Oe in the top CoFe/IrMn SV and 29.3 Oe in the bottom CoFe/IrMn based SV). In a sample with structure Sub/Ta5/NiFe2/CoFe1.5/Cu2.6/CoFe2/FeMn10/Ta5/Al2O35/Ta5/Ni Fe2/CoFe1.5/Cu2.6/CoFe2/IrMn8/Ta5, since the blocking temperature of the CoFe/FeMn based SV (Tb is about 150°C) is lower than that of CoFe/IrMn based SV (Tb is about 230°C), the spins can be easily engineered and therefore various magnetoresistance states can be obtained when the sample is magnetically annealed at different temperatures in a proper annealing sequence. By properly selecting materials and controlling the magnetically annealing conditions, multilevel giant magnetoresistance (MR) magnetic random access memory (MRAM) cell can be realized, which will significantly improve the MRAM data storage density without increasing any additional processing complexity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)T3.1.1-T3.1.6
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes
EventApplications of Ferromagnetic and Optical Materials, Storage and Magnotoelectronics - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Apr 16 2001Apr 20 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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