Magnetic and transport properties of Ni81Fe19/Al2O3 granular multilayers approaching the superparamagnetic limit
2007 (English)In: Journal of Applied Physics, ISSN 0021-8979, E-ISSN 1089-7550, Vol. 101, no 7, 073907- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The magnetic and transport properties of Ni81Fe 19/Al2O3 granular multilayer films were studied in relation to their structural properties as the nominal thickness t of the permalloy (Ni81Fe19) layer was varied near the percolation limit: in the range of 8≤t≤ 16 Å while keeping the nominal thickness of the Al2O3 layers constant at 16 Å. A good structural quality of the multilayers was demonstrated by low angle x-ray reflectivity measurements, and transmission electron microscopy showed the transition from continuous permalloy layers separated by aluminium oxide layers for t= 16 Å to metal grains dispersed in the insulator at t=8 Å. Magnetization measurements showed the gradual transition from ferromagnetic layers to superparamagnetic clusters and grains that successively become blocked as the temperature decreases. A strong correlation between transport and structural properties was observed in the temperature (T) dependence of the electrical resistance measured with the current in the plane in the range of 2 ≤T≤300 K: a gradual change of behavior from continuous permalloy layers with conducting interlayer connections for t=16 Å. to isolated permalloy grains in a dielectric for the film with t= 10 Å. The percolation occurs between 12 and 10 Å, as deduced both from the magnetic and resistive properties. The discontinuous metal films were analyzed within models for thermally assisted tunneling, yielding estimates of the tunneling barrier for intralayer conduction of about 20 meV for t= 10 Å. A significant magnetic field dependence of the resistance increasing with decreasing temperature was observed in all samples.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 101, no 7, 073907- p.
Permalloy, aluminium compounds, magnetic multilayers, percolation, X-ray reflection, transmission electron microscopy, ferromagnetic materials, superparamagnetism, galvanomagnetic effects
Physical Sciences Engineering and Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-10705DOI: 10.1063/1.2715740ISI: 000245691000056OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-10705DiVA: diva2:38473