Characterization of magnetic tunnel junction test pads

Frederik Westergaard Østerberg, Daniel Kjær, Peter Folmer Nielsen, Ole Hansen, Dirch Hjorth Petersen

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We show experimentally as well as theoretically that patterned magnetic tunnel junctions can be characterized using the current-in-plane tunneling (CIPT) method, and the key parameters, the resistance-area product (RA) and the tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR), can be determined. The CIPT method relies on four-point probe measurements performed with a range of different probe pitches and was originally developed for infinite samples. Using the method of images, we derive a modified CIPT model, which compensates for the insulating boundaries of a finite rectangular sample geometry. We measure on square tunnel junction pads with varying sizes and analyze the measured data using both the original and the modified CIPT model. Thus, we determine in which sample size range the modified CIPT model is needed to ensure validity of the extracted sample parameters, RA and TMR. In addition, measurements as a function of position on a square tunnel junction pad are used to investigate the sensitivity of the measurement results to probe misalignment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number14
Pages (from-to)143901
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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