The CIPTech® determines the critically important tunneling resistance and magneto-resistance (RA & MR) directly on blanket magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) stacks for MRAM (Magnetic Random Access Memory) and magnetic recording read head applications.






The tool combines IBM and Infineon Technologies proprietary Current In-Plane Tunneling (CIPT) technology licensed from IBM and Infineon Technologies with CAPRES multi-point micro-probing methods. CIPT is used to process data obtained from a multi-point measurement made with a CAPRES M12PP Micro Twelve-Point Probe, enabling MR & RA to be determined directly on blanket films.







The CIPTech® offers radical cost and time-savings over previous techniques that required patterning of MTJ devices prior to test. Measurements that used to require weeks of sample preparation can now be performed within minutes.





CAPRES CIPTech® provides the same results as the old, conventional method.

See “Magnetoresistance measurement of unpatterned magnetic tunnel junction wafers by Current-in-Plane Tunneling”, D. Worledge and P. L. Trouilloud, in Applied Physics Letters (July 7, 2003 -- Volume 83, Issue 1, pp. 84-86).

CIPTech main features

  • Measures MR & RA on blanket MTJ films; no device patterning required.
  • Automatically extracts MR & RA within minutes.
  • Works in MRAM and Read Head relevant regimes.
  • Performs non-destructive probing.



With the built-in multiplexer, different combinations (of 4) of the 12 cantilevers can be selected. Using a number of these combinations (typically between 8 and 20, depending on the sample and the type of probe used), the conductivity of the sample is measured using a standard 4-Point Probe technique for each combination.

The magnetic field is toggled 180 degrees to obtain Rlow and Rhigh, respectively. This is done a number of times (typically somewhere between 12 and 50), and a median filter is applied to obtain reliable and consistent values.




When all the conductivity measurements are completed for both directions of the magnetic field, the resulting resistance measurements are fed into the CIPT model together with the probe positions.

The data are then fitted to the model using the “Downhill Simplex Method”, yielding Rt, Rb, RA and MR as fitting parameters. The plots provided shows 1) the measured Rlow/sq, and 2) the MRCIP (i.e. the amount of MR effect measured for that particular Mean Probe Pitch), both as a function of Mean Probe Pitch.













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CAPRES A/S | Diplomvej 373 | DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby | Tel: +45 8882 1470 | E-mail