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Physics  2015 

Large exchange bias in polycrystalline MnN/CoFe bilayers at room temperature

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.92.144408

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We report on the new polycrystalline exchange bias system MnN/CoFe, which shows exchange bias of up to 1800Oe at room temperature with a coercive field around 600Oe. The room temperature values of the interfacial exchange energy and the effective uniaxial anisotropy are estimated to be $J_\mathrm{eff} = 0.41\,\mathrm{mJ}/\mathrm{m}^2$ and $K_\mathrm{eff} = 37\,\mathrm{kJ}\,/\,\mathrm{m}^3$. The thermal stability was found to be tunable by controlling the nitrogen content of the MnN. The maximum blocking temperature exceeds $325^\circ$C, however the median blocking temperature in the limit of thick MnN is $160^\circ$C. Good oxidation stability through self-passivation was observed, enabling the use of MnN in lithographically defined microstructures. As a proof-of-principle we demonstrate a simple GMR stack exchange biased with MnN, which shows clear separation between parallel and antiparallel magnetic states. These properties come along with a surprisingly simple manufacturing process for the MnN films.


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