We have designed new process architecture for high-density magneto-resistive random access memory (MRAM). One of the major issues in fabricating high-density MRAM is how to prevent the electrical short through the tunnel barrier without any kind of degradation of the characteristics of small magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) devices. We have developed a novel MTJ patterning technique that involves removing the residual free layer by wet-chemical treatments after partial RIE process. Additional degradation of MTJ devices in post-patterning should be minimized. © 2004 Published by Elsevier B.V.
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