Journal of Applied Physics

Can spin valves be reliably deposited for magnetic recording applications? (invited)

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The tolerance of the expected read-back signal of spin valve giant magnetoresistance based structures to varying deposition and process conditions are described. We determine if spin valves can be produced reliably, and evaluate which thicknesses and properties are most critical. First, the dependence of spin valve properties on layer thickness are experimentally determined. Next, the variation of read-back signal and transfer curve characteristics with spin valve properties is calculated from micromagnetic modeling. Finally, these are convolved with the expected reproducibility of layer thickness to obtain an effective "yield" of structures within 10% of the mean amplitude. We find that spin valves can be reliably deposited, with "yields" well in excess of 90% likely. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.