UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Ferromagnetic Multilayers: Magnetoresistance, Magnetic Anisotropy, and Beyond Rizal, Conrad; Moa, Belaid; Niraula, Boris B.

Abstract

Obtaining highly sensitive ferromagnetic, FM, and nonmagnetic, NM, multilayers with a large room-temperature magnetoresistance, MR, and strong magnetic anisotropy, MA, under a small externally applied magnetic field, H, remains a subject of scientific and technical interest. Recent advances in nanofabrication and characterization techniques have further opened up several new ways through which MR, sensitivity to H, and MA of the FM/NM multilayers could be dramatically improved in miniature devices such as smart spin-valves based biosensors, non-volatile magnetic random access memory, and spin transfer torque nano-oscillators. This review presents in detail the fabrication and characterization of a few representative FM/NM multilayered films—including the nature and origin of MR, mechanism associated with spin-dependent conductivity and artificial generation of MA. In particular, a special attention is given to the Pulsed-current deposition technique and on the potential industrial applications and future prospects. FM multilayers presented in this review are already used in real-life applications such as magnetic sensors in automobile and computer industries. These material are extremely important as they have the capability to efficiently replace presently used magnetic sensors in automobile, electronics, biophysics, and medicine, among many others.

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