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Published July 1, 1993 | Published
Journal Article Open

Evolution of structural and magnetic properties in Ta/Ni_81Fe_(19) multilayer thin films


The interdiffusion kinetics in short period (12.8 nm) Ta/Ni81Fe19 polycrystalline multilayer films has been investigated and related to the evolution of soft magnetic properties upon thermal annealing in the temperature range 300-600-degrees-C. Small angle x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy were used to estimate the multilayer period. Interdiffusion in the multilayers was directly computed from the decay of the satellites near (000) in a small angle x-ray diffraction spectrum. A kinetic analysis of interdiffusion suggests that grain growth is concurrent with grain boundary diffusion of Ta in Ni81Fe19. The evolution of soft magnetic properties of Ni81Fe19, i.e., lowering of 4piM(s) and increase in coercivity H(c), also lend support to the above analysis.

Additional Information

© 1993 American Institute of Physics. Received 27 October 1992; accepted 5 March 1993. This work was supported by IBM and the National Science Foundation. Diffraction analysis performed at Caltech was made possible by DOE Grant DEFGO589ER75511. We thank C. M. Garland for assistance with electron microscopy.

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