Semiconductor science and technology vol:17 issue:4 pages:342-354
There has been an increased interest in the introduction of magnetic thin films into semiconductors. This interest is motivated by the benefit found in using the magnetic thin-film properties (giant or tunnelling magnetoresistance and hysteresis) in magnetic memory (MRAM) products. Furthermore, the use of the electron spin in electronic, spintronic devices requires intimate ferromagnetic/semiconductor combinations. We review the technology and materials aspects of both the MRAM and spintronics fields that highlight the challenges that must be overcome in order to make magnetic (multilayer) films a standard ingredient in future electronics.