In situ magnetoresistance measurements during patterning of spin valve devices
This dissertation describes an experimental study on the patterning of thin films and spin valve devices. Initially the change in the magnetisation reversal of ferromagnetic Ni
The experiment was extended to the nanoscale, and the results show that a significant increase in MR is not observed despite the fact that the magnetic configuration tends more towards single domain. This is thought to be due to an increase in the initial resistance of the structures. A small increase in MR was observed as the wire width was decreased from 730 to 470nm, although the spin valve response is heavily dependent on the gallium dosage density during patterning in the Focused Ion Beam (FIB). Micromagnetic simulations were carried out, which agree with the experimental results and showed the change in the magnetisation reversal from rotation to switching as the dimensions were reduced on the nanoscale.