Mailstop L-350, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94550
Young K. Kim
Quantum Peripherals Colorado Inc., Louisville, CO 80028-8188
Lantz E. Johnson
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94550
A new processes for fabricating NiO exchange bias layers has been developed. The process involves the direct ion beam sputtering (IBS) of a NiO target. The processes is simpler than other deposition techniques for producing NiO buffer layers, and facilitates the deposition of an entire spin-valve layered structure using IBS without breaking vacuum. The layer thickness and temperature dependence of the exchange field for NiO/NiFe films produced using IBS are presented and are similar to those reported for similar films deposited using reactive magnetron sputtering. The magnetic properties of highly textured exchange couples deposited on single crystal substrates are compared to those of simultaneously deposited polycrystalline films, and both show comparable exchange fields. These results are compared to current theories describing the exchange coupling at the NiO/NiFe interface.