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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/M23922/01
Title: ADVANCED INFORMATION STORAGE FILMS WITH MAGNETORESISTIVE PROPERTIES
Principal Investigator: Petford-Long, Professor A
Other Investigators:
Mapps, Professor D Cerezo, Professor A Clegg, Professor W
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Materials
Organisation: University of Oxford
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 04 January 1999 Ends: 03 January 2002 Value (£): 141,020
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The effect of local variations in microstructure and microchemistry on the response of lithographically-defined Magnetoresistive layered film elements to applied fields will be investigated. In addition to inhomogeneities such as local changes in layer thickness, interface nature or crystal structure, the effects of edges (magnetostatic effects and compositional changes due to corrosion) play an important role in determining the behaviour of the elements, but have not so far been investigated in detail. The sub-micron scale of the variations make them very relevant to devices such as GMR read/heads because they lead to non-uniform head response and this to head noise. We intend to concentrate on NiFe/almina/TM (TM=Co or Fe) spin tunnel junctions and on NiFe/Cu/Cu spin-valves. The microstructure and composition profile of the films will be determined using high spatial resolution techniques and correlated with studies of local variations in magnetisation reversal and magnetotransport using Lorentz microscopy, including in-situ measurements with applied currents and fields. Hysteresis loop measurements will be made on the devices to ensure that the local measurements are typical of the films, and the high frequency response of the films will be assessed using high speed scanning Kerr microscopy.
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Organisation Website: http://www.ox.ac.uk