Optimization of materials and interfaces for spintronic devices
In recent years' Spintronic devices have drawn a significant amount of research attention. This interest comes in large part from their ability to enable interesting and new technology such as Spin Torque Transfer Random Access Memory or improve existing technology such as High Signal Read Heads for Hard Disk Drives. For the former we worked on optimizing and improving magnetic tunnel junctions by optimizing their thermal stability by using Ta insertion layers in the free layer. We further tried to simplify the design of the MTJ stack by attempting to replace the Co/Pd multilayer with CoPd alloy. In this dissertation, we detail its development and examine the switching characteristics. Lastly we look at a highly spin polarized material, Fe_2MnGe, for optimizing Hard Drive Disk read heads.