Fabrication of giant magnetoresistant devices using electron beam evaporation

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2002-01-01
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Garcia, David
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Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) contains two focuses. The focus on Electrical Engineering teaches students in the fields of control systems, electromagnetics and non-destructive evaluation, microelectronics, electric power & energy systems, and the like. The Computer Engineering focus teaches in the fields of software systems, embedded systems, networking, information security, computer architecture, etc.

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The Department of Electrical Engineering was formed in 1909 from the division of the Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering. In 1985 its name changed to Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. In 1995 it became the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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1909-present

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  • Department of Electrical Engineering (1909-1985)
  • Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering (1985-1995)

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The discovery of Giant Magnetoresistance (GMR) in 1988 was of great importance to both the research community and industry. The existence of GMR effects has allowed for increase in hard drive storage capacity, and has future potential for use in non-volatile memory and spin-valve transistors. GMR effects are seen in stacks of thin ferromagnetic materials separated by non-magnetic spacer layers. Layer thicknesses are normally on the order of 10 to 50Å. GMR sandwich structures using Nickel Iron Cobalt (NiFeCo) alloy, Iron Cobalt (FeCo) alloy, Tantalum (Ta), and Copper (Cu) were deposited using Electron Beam (E-beam) Evaporation techniques on Silicon (Si) wafers. A fabrication process was developed to use equipment available at the Microelectronic Research Center. The structures were tested with bulk measurement techniques, Van der Paw patterned measurements, and bar resistor measurements. Films were further characterized using four-point probe resistivity measurements, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD).

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Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2002