Effect of patterning on the saturation magnetization in MgO based nanopillars
ABSTRACT We have studied the effect of nanopillar patterning on the saturation magnetization of the CoFeB free layer in MgO magnetic tunnel junctions. Before patterning, the free layer magnetization is measured by ferromagnetic resonance and is found to be close to the bulk value, with no detectable interface anisotropy. After patterning, the shape anisotropy and the frequency of the main spin wave mode indicate that the free layer magnetization is substantially reduced. Current dependent measurements indicate that this is not due to Joule heating. Size dependent measurements indicate that the magnetization reduction most likely arises from process damage during the etching step.