The CoFe/Os/CoFe thin films were deposited on natural oxidized Si(1 0 0) substrates at room temperature by an ultra-high vacuum DC-magnetron sputtering system with a base pressure less than 1×10-8 Torr. The thickness of the ferromagnetic layers was 100 Å in all cases and a series of trilayers with Os spacer ranging from 3 to 20 Å was made. Effects of the Os layer thickness on the magnetoresistance (MR) and magnetic properties were investigated. The results showed that the magnetism switched from ferromagnetic (Os thickness=3, 5 Å) to antiferromagnetic (Os thickness=7-13 Å) and then ferromagnetic (Os thickness=20 Å) again. From the MR study, we see that the AMR ratio decreased from 4.64% to the minimum value 0.69% at 9 Å and then increased; GMR ratio increased from 0.01% to the maximum value 0.43% at 9 Å and then decreased. From the hysteresis loops, the results exhibited that coercivity increased from 16 Oe to the maximum value 92 Oe at 9 Å and then decreased, and squareness value decreased from 0.97 to the minimum value 0.17 at 9 Å and then increased. Dependence of saturation field on Os spacer-layer thickness for CoFe trilayers showed a maximum value 216 Oe at 9 Å. This suggests that the small GMR effect may be related to the small exchange coupling strength in CoFe/Os/CoFe thin films.
- Interlayer exchange coupling