MnFe and NiFe Thin Films and Magnetic Exchange Bilayers

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A combination ion beam/magnetron deposition system was used to fabricate MnFe/NiFe bilayer exchange structures. The NiFe layers were deposited by ion beam sputter deposition using a focused ion source onto a bulk Permalloy target and the MnFe deposited by dc magnetron sputtering. The NiFe and MnFe films were characterized individually as well as when coupled. As expected, when the MnFe thickness was held constant, a 1/t dependence of unidirectional exchange anisotropy (Hua) on NiFe thickness was found with typical values of Huaof 40 Oe and Hc of <3 Oe for 400Å Permalloy films. The level of induced exchange field was determined to depend on the intimacy of contact between the two layers, with the removal of an oxide layer on the ex situ prepared NiFe being necessary to maximize the exchange interaction. © 1989, The Electrochemical Society, Inc. All rights reserved.