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Shape-induced ultrahigh magnetic anisotropy and ferromagnetic resonance frequency of micropatterned thin Permalloy films


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Shape-induced ultrahigh magnetic anisotropy and ferromagnetic resonance

frequency of micropatterned thin Permalloy films

Y. Zhuang,a兲M. Vroubel, B. Rejaei, and J. N. Burghartz

High-Frequency Technology and Components, Delft University of Technology, Mekelweg 4, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands

K. Attenboroughb兲

OnStream MST, Lodewijkstraat 1, 5652 AC Eindhoven, The Netherlands 共Presented on 31 October 2005; published online 24 April 2006兲

Magnetic anisotropy Hk⬎200 Oe was observed from bar-shaped Permalloy strips. The film was

deposited on sputtered Cr seed layer by electroplating under⬃800 Oe external magnetic field. Tiny degradation of Hk was observed after 30 min postannealing at 400 °C in the absence of external

magnetic field. The Permalloy strip with in-plane aspect ratio of 40: 1 showed the ferromagnetic resonance at⬃5.3 GHz. The ferromagnetic resonance frequency and magnetic anisotropy decreased to⬃1 GHz and ⬃50 Oe, respectively, as the in-plane aspect ratio reduced from 40:1 to 10:1. In comparison, Permalloy strips plated on combined Ti/ TiN seed layers did not show clear anisotropy features. © 2006 American Institute of Physics.关DOI:10.1063/1.2162067兴


Further development of radio-frequency 共rf兲 bipolar complementary metal-oxide semiconductor 共BiCMOS兲 and CMOS technologies relies on significant performance im-provement and size reduction of rf passive components. In-tegration of ferromagnetic共FM兲 thin films in integrated cir-cuits 共ICs兲 is one of the most promising technologies to achieve such a goal.1–3 Despite considerable efforts, so far the low ferromagnetic resonance 共FMR兲 frequency and the high magnetic loss of magnetic materials have limited the operation frequency and quality factor of the devices. The magnetic loss is determined by the imaginary part of the permeability共␮

兲, which follows␮

⬀ fr


ris the

ferromag-netic resonance frequency兲.4

Therefore, FM films with high FMR frequency potentially reduce magnetic loss, on the one hand, and lead to higher possible operation frequencies, on the other hand.

Among the developed FM materials so far,5–7Permalloy 共Py兲 has attracted much attention for rf IC applications not only for its supersoft magnetic properties, but also for its wide use in magnetic recording industry. However, it is well known that, for rf IC applications, Py suffers from a low magnetic anisotropy field Hk共2–6 Oe兲,


and consequently, low FMR frequency共⬍100 MHz兲 since fr⬀Hk1/2.


More se-riously, due to the growth of grains15 and the induced magnetostriction,16 the anisotropy field Hk drops

signifi-cantly at temperatures between 300–400 °C. In today’s state-of-the-art standard CMOS technology, there are several pro-cessing steps done at 400 °C after deposition of the first aluminum metal layer. This indicates that, for compatible integration, magnetic properties of the films are required to be stable at 400 °C.

In this work, we demonstrated a simple method to obtain

an overall magnetic anisotropy of Hk⬎200 Oe and a FMR

frequency ⬃5.3 GHz from an electroplated micropatterned Py film. The Py film was deposited by electroplating on a Cr seed layer with a thickness of 0.5␮m and structured into bar-shaped strips with various in-plane aspect ratios. Ther-mal annealing processing was performed at 400 °C in the absence of an external magnetic field to examine the film’s thermal stability. Complex permeability at rf was extracted from structured Py films plated on both the Cr and the com-bined Ti/ TiN seed layers for comparison.


Py films were deposited by electroplating on a sputtered 100-nm-thick Cr layer and a 100-nm-thick Ti layer capped with 10 nm of TiN. After coating and patterning of a 2-␮m-thick photoresist layer by lithography, the Py films were plated through the defined window in the photoresist. The bar-shaped Py strips were formed by removing the pho-toresist and selective etching of the seed layer. The plating was carried out with an external magnetic field 共800 Oe兲 applied along the long side of the bar with a current density of 4 mA/ cm2for 5 min. The resulting thickness and compo-sition were 0.5␮m, Fe-16.3%, Ni-83.7% for Cr seed and 0.4␮m, Fe-13.6%, Ni-86.4% for Ti/ TiN seed, respectively. To extract the rf permeability, microstrip structures were fab-ricated共the detailed processing was described in Ref. 2兲. The structure contains a signal line共the top metal兲 and a ground layer 共the bottom metal兲, both made from aluminum sput-tered at 350 °C. SiO2 layers were deposited at 400 °C as insulation layers between the Py layer and the top and bot-tom metals. The rf measurements were carried out on an Agilent network analyzer共HP 8510兲. Magnetic properties of the structured Py films were characterized on a Princeton AGM2900 test apparatus.

a兲FAX:⫹31 15 262 3271; electronic mail: y.zhuang@dimes.tudelft.nl b兲Present address: Philips Research Leuven, Kapeldreef 75, B-3001 Leuven,



0021-8979/2006/99共8兲/08C705/3/$23.00 99, 08C705-1 © 2006 American Institute of Physics



Figure 1 compared the magnetic properties of bar-shaped Py strips plated on Cr seed layer with a length共the long side兲 of 2 mm and in-plane aspect ratios r共length/width兲 of 40:1 and 10: 1. The magnetic B-H loops关Fig. 1共a兲兴 were recorded along the short side of the strip, i.e., perpendicular to the applied magnetic field during deposition, defined as the mag-netization hard axis. The measurements were performed after the completion of device fabrication, i.e., after 400 ° C SiO2 deposition and 350 °C aluminum deposition. The sample showed ultrahigh magnetic anisotropy Hk⬎200 Oe for the

ratio of 40: 1, which was larger than the calculated pure shape-induced anisotropy ⬃140 Oe based on volume aver-aging of the demagnetizing field.17 Magnetic anisotropy Hk

⬎50 Oe was observed for a sample with an aspect ratio of 10: 1, in a fairly good agreement with the calculation of ⬃60 O e. Since the ferromagnetic resonance frequency fr

⬀Hk1/2, as a result of the high Hk, the sample with an aspect

ratio of 40: 1 exhibited resonance at 5.3 GHz. Reducing the aspect ratio to 10: 1, the FMR occurred at ⬃1 GHz 关Fig. 1共b兲兴. Additionally, the higher FMR frequency led to a sig-nificant reduction of␮

, consequently lowering the magnetic loss, which is favorable for device applications.

To further examine the thermal stability, postannealing at 400 °C in the absence of a magnetic field was performed, analogous to the standard CMOS processing. Before and af-ter the postannealing, magnetic B-H loops were measured along the hard axis关Fig. 2共a兲兴 and easy axis 关Fig. 2共b兲兴 for the sample with an aspect ratio of 40: 1. A noticeable differ-ence was observed along the hard axis, showing a slight

degradation of the Hk. The large shape aspect ratio of the Py

bar strip seems to preserve Hk. As a result, a high Hk

⬃150 Oe was obtained, although both grain growth and the magnetostriction induced by SiO2 encapsulation may have occurred.15,18 Since high-temperature processing 共400 °C SiO2deposition and 350 °C aluminum deposition兲 and post-annealing were performed in the absence of a magnetic field, the magnetic anisotropy became aligned randomly by the local magnetization, which resulted in a constricted hyster-esis loop 关Fig. 2共b兲兴.19The constriction effect became more pronounced after the postannealing.

To exclude shape-induced magnetic anisotropy, a Py strip on a Cr seed layer with an in-plane aspect ratio of 1 : 1 was fabricated and measured in Fig. 3. In this case, no pre-ferred shape anisotropy was seen along the hard and easy axes. Compared with Figs. 3共a兲 and 3共b兲, clear magnetic an-isotropy was observed in the range of 10–15 Oe, which is larger than the value reported.8–13This might be caused by the SiO2 encapsulation. Further investigation is in progress. Significant constriction effect was observed after 400 °C FIG. 1. Normalized magnetic B-H loop measurements along the hard axis,

i.e., perpendicular to the applied magnetic field during deposition共a兲, and frequency-dependent real共␮⬘兲 and imaginary parts 共␮⬙兲 of the permeability 共b兲 of plated bar-shaped Py strips on Cr seed layer with in-plane aspect ratios of 40: 1 and 10: 1. The Py strips exhibit ferromagnetic resonance at ⬃5.3 GHz for the strip with an in-plane aspect ratio of 40:1, and at ⬃1 GHz for the strip with an aspect ratio of 10:1.

FIG. 2. Comparison of normalized magnetic B-H loop measurements before and after 30 min 400 °C annealing along共a兲 the hard axis and 共b兲 easy axis. The in-plane aspect ratio of the Py strip bar is 40: 1.

FIG. 3. Comparison of normalized magnetic B-H loop measurements共a兲 perpendicular共the hard axis兲 and 共b兲 parallel 共the easy axis兲 to the applied external magnetic field during deposition before and after 400 °C annealing for 30 min. The in-plane aspect ratio of the Py strip bar is 1 : 1.

08C705-2 Zhuang et al. J. Appl. Phys. 99, 08C705共2006兲


postannealing关Fig. 3共b兲兴, which was much more pronounced compared with a Py strip with a larger aspect ratio of 40: 1 共Fig. 2兲. The pronounced constriction effect in the low-aspect-ratio sample implies that a large aspect ratio 共conse-quently, large shape anisotropy field兲 prevents magnetic an-isotropy from random alignment by local magnetization.

For comparison, the same deposition method was em-ployed to electroplate Py on a combined Ti/ TiN seed layer. The bar-shaped Py strips with an in-plane aspect ratio of 40: 1 did not exhibit clear distinguishable easy and hard axes B-H loops关Fig. 4共a兲兴. Continuous drop of the real and imagi-nary parts of permeability as frequency increased was ob-served in Fig. 4共b兲. The lack of characteristic easy and hard axes was related to the large grain with a diameter of 200– 300 nm observed by scanning electron microscopy and the interdiffusion of Ti atom into the Py film at the interface.


High magnetic anisotropy Hk⬎200 Oe with

ferromag-netic resonance frequency up to 5.3 GHz was obtained from bar-shaped Permalloy strips with an aspect ratio of 40: 1. The magnetic anisotropy strongly depends on the choice of the electroplating seed layer. The large shape anisotropy facili-tates the preservation of the high Hk and prevents the

con-striction effect due to random magnetization during high-temperature processing.

1M. Yamaguchi, T. Kuribara, and K. I. Arai, Proceedings of the 2002

In-ternational Magnetics Conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 28

April–2 May, 2002.

2Y. Zhuang, M. Vroubel, B. Rejaei, and J. N. Burghartz, Proceedings of

IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting, San Francisco, CA, 8–11

December, 2002.

3K. Ikeda, K. Kobayashi, K. Ohta, R. Kondo, T. Suzuki, and M. Fujimoto, IEEE Trans. Magn. 39, 3057共2003兲.

4B. Lax and K. J. Button, Microwave Ferrites and Ferrimagnetics 共McGraw-Hill, New York, 1962兲, p. 145.

5J. Huijbregtse, F. Roozeboom, J. Sietsma, J. Donkers, T. Kuiper, and E. van de Riet, J. Appl. Phys. 83, 1569共1998兲.

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12A. S. Kao and P. Kasiraj, IEEE Trans. Magn. 27, 4452共1991兲. 13R. M. Valletta, C. Hwang, and H. Lefakis, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 9, 2107


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18D. D. Tang and P. Kasiraj, IEEE Trans. Magn. 30, 5073共1994兲. 19G. Y. Chin, IEEE Trans. Magn. Mag-7, 102共1971兲.

FIG. 4. 共a兲 Normalized magnetic B-H loop measurements along the hard axis and easy axis. The sample is the plated bar-shaped Py strips on Ti/ TiN seed layer with an in-plane aspect ratio of 40: 1.共b兲 Frequency-dependent real共␮⬘兲 and imaginary parts 共␮⬙兲 of the permeability.

08C705-3 Zhuang et al. J. Appl. Phys. 99, 08C705共2006兲


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