Patents by Inventor Kunliang Zhang

Kunliang Zhang has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 10950261
    Abstract: The use of supermalloy-like materials such as NiFeMe where Me is one or more of Mo, Cr, and Cu for the side and top shields of a magnetic bit sensor is shown to provide better shielding protection from stray fields because of their extremely high permeability. Moreover, the side shield may comprise a stack in which a Ni, Fe, Co, FeNi, CoFe, or FeCo is sandwiched between two NiFeMe layers to enhance the bias field on an adjacent free layer. Including NiFeMe in a side shield results in an increase in readback amplitude under the same asymmetric sigma. For these sensors, the signal to noise ratio was higher and the bit error rate was lower than with conventional materials in the side shield. A method is disclosed for forming a magnetic bit sensor having supermalloy-like materials in the side shields.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: Headway Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Yewhee Chye, Kunliang Zhang, Min Li
  • Publication number: 20200176024
    Abstract: A hard magnet stabilization scheme is disclosed for a top shield and junction shields for double or triple dimension magnetic reader structures. In one design, the hard magnet (HM) adjoins a top or bottom surface of all or part of a shield domain such that the HM is recessed from the air bearing surface to satisfy reader-to-reader spacing requirements and stabilizes a closed loop magnetization in the top shield. The HM may have a height and width greater than that of the top shield. The top shield may have a ring shape with a HM formed above, below, or within the ring shape, and wherein the HM stabilizes a vortex magnetization. HM magnetization is set or reset from room temperature to 100° C. to maintain a desired magnetization direction in the top shield, junction shield, and free layer in the sensor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 7, 2020
    Publication date: June 4, 2020
    Inventors: Junjie Quan, Glen Garfunkel, Yewhee Chye, Kunliang Zhang, Min Li
  • Patent number: 10593357
    Abstract: A hard magnet stabilization scheme is disclosed for a top shield and junction shields for double or triple dimension magnetic reader structures. In one design, the hard magnet (HM) adjoins a top or bottom surface of all or part of a shield domain such that the HM is recessed from the air bearing surface to satisfy reader-to-reader spacing requirements and stabilizes a closed loop magnetization in the top shield. The HM may have a height and width greater than that of the top shield. The top shield may have a ring shape with a HM formed above, below, or within the ring shape, and wherein the HM stabilizes a vortex magnetization. HM magnetization is set or reset from room temperature to 100° C. to maintain a desired magnetization direction in the top shield, junction shield, and free layer in the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2020
    Assignee: Headway Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Junjie Quan, Glen Garfunkel, Yewhee Chye, Kunliang Zhang, Min Li
  • Patent number: 10586560
    Abstract: A PMR (perpendicular magnetic recording) head is configured for thermally assisted magnetic recording (TAMR). The thermal energy is supplied by the near-fields of plasmons and the near-fields are directed to a magnetic recording medium by a PPG layer. The PPG layer is Rhodium (Rh) whose small-grained crystal structure normally makes it subject to thermal deformations and other weaknesses. By growing the PPG layer on a thin template layer (TTL), the portion of the PPG layer adjacent to the air-bearing surface (ABS) develops a larger grain size and stronger forces between its atomic constituents which makes it resistant to those deformations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2020
    Assignee: Headway Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Shengyuan Wang, Weihao Xu, Cherng-Chyi Han, Xuhui Jin, Min Li, Kunliang Zhang
  • Patent number: 10354707
    Abstract: A seed layer stack with a smooth top surface having a peak to peak film thickness variation of about 0.5 nm is formed by sputter depositing a second seed layer on a first seed layer that is Mg, MgN, or an alloy thereof where the second seed layer has a bond energy substantially greater than that of the first seed layer. The second seed layer may be Ta or NiCr. In some embodiments, an uppermost seed layer that is one or both of Ru and Cu is deposited on the second seed layer. Higher coercivity (Hc) and perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (Hk) is observed in an overlying ferromagnetic layer than when a prior art seed layer stack is employed. The first seed layer has a thickness from 2 to 20 Angstroms and has a resputtering rate about 2 to 40 times that of the second seed layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: Headway Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Kunliang Zhang, Ruhang Ding, Min Li, Wenyu Chen
  • Publication number: 20190051321
    Abstract: A hard magnet stabilization scheme is disclosed for a top shield and junction shields for double or triple dimension magnetic reader structures. In one design, the hard magnet (HM) adjoins a top or bottom surface of all or part of a shield domain such that the HM is recessed from the air bearing surface to satisfy reader-to-reader spacing requirements and stabilizes a closed loop magnetization in the top shield. The HM may have a height and width greater than that of the top shield. The top shield may have a ring shape with a HM formed above, below, or within the ring shape, and wherein the HM stabilizes a vortex magnetization. HM magnetization is set or reset from room temperature to 100° C. to maintain a desired magnetization direction in the top shield, junction shield, and free layer in the sensor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 16, 2018
    Publication date: February 14, 2019
    Inventors: Junjie Quan, Glen Garfunkel, Yewhee Chye, Kunliang Zhang, Min Li
  • Publication number: 20190013041
    Abstract: The use of supermalloy-like materials such as NiFeMe where Me is one or more of Mo, Cr, and Cu for the side and top shields of a magnetic bit sensor is shown to provide better shielding protection from stray fields because of their extremely high permeability. Moreover, the side shield may comprise a stack in which a Ni, Fe, Co, FeNi, CoFe, or FeCo is sandwiched between two NiFeMe layers to enhance the bias field on an adjacent free layer. Including NiFeMe in a side shield results in an increase in readback amplitude under the same asymmetric sigma. For these sensors, the signal to noise ratio was higher and the bit error rate was lower than with conventional materials in the side shield. A method is disclosed for forming a magnetic bit sensor having supermalloy-like materials in the side shields.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 28, 2018
    Publication date: January 10, 2019
    Inventors: Yewhee Chye, Kunliang Zhang, Min Li
  • Patent number: 10157634
    Abstract: A process flow is disclosed for forming a MR sensor having an antiferromagnetic (AFM) layer recessed behind a bottom shield to reduce reader shield spacing and improve pin related noise. An AP2/AFM coupling layer/AP1 stack that extends from an air bearing surface to the MR sensor backside is formed above the AFM layer. The AP2 layer is pinned by the AFM layer, and the AP1 layer serves as a reference layer to an overlying free layer during a read operation. The AP1 and AP2 layers have improved resistance to magnetization flipping because back portions thereof have a full cross-track width “w” between MR sensor sides thereby enabling greater pinning strength from the AFM layer. Front portions of the AP1/AP2 layers lie under the free layer and have a track width less than “w”. The bottom shield may have an anti-ferromagnetic coupling structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2018
    Assignee: Headway Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Ruhang Ding, Yewhee Chye, Wenyu Chen, Kunliang Zhang, Yan Wu, Min Li
  • Patent number: 10115418
    Abstract: A hard magnet stabilization scheme is disclosed for a top shield and junction shields for double or triple dimension magnetic reader structures. In one design, the hard magnet (HM) adjoins a top or bottom surface of all or part of a shield domain such that the HM is recessed from the air bearing surface to satisfy reader-to-reader spacing requirements and stabilizes a closed loop magnetization in the top shield. Alternatively, the HM may replace a shield domain. The top shield may have various shapes including a ring shape in which the HM stabilizes a vortex magnetization. In a whole shield coupling design, the HM contacts all of the top shield bottom surface except over the sensor and junction shield. HM magnetization is set or reset from room temperature to 100° C. to maintain a desired magnetization direction in the top shield, junction shield, and free layer in the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2018
    Assignee: Headway Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Junjie Quan, Glen Garfunkel, Yewhee Chye, Kunliang Zhang, Min Li
  • Publication number: 20180144766
    Abstract: A hard magnet stabilization scheme is disclosed for a top shield and junction shields for double or triple dimension magnetic reader structures. In one design, the hard magnet (HM) adjoins a top or bottom surface of all or part of a shield domain such that the HM is recessed from the air bearing surface to satisfy reader-to-reader spacing requirements and stabilizes a closed loop magnetization in the top shield. Alternatively, the HM may replace a shield domain. The top shield may have various shapes including a ring shape in which the HM stabilizes a vortex magnetization. In a whole shield coupling design, the HM contacts all of the top shield bottom surface except over the sensor and junction shield. HM magnetization is set or reset from room temperature to 100° C. to maintain a desired magnetization direction in the top shield, junction shield, and free layer in the sensor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 21, 2016
    Publication date: May 24, 2018
    Inventors: Junjie Quan, Glen Garfunkel, Yewhee Chye, Kunliang Zhang, Min Li
  • Publication number: 20180130487
    Abstract: A process flow is disclosed for forming a MR sensor having an antiferromagnetic (AFM) layer recessed behind a bottom shield to reduce reader shield spacing and improve pin related noise. An AP2/AFM coupling layer/AP1 stack that extends from an air bearing surface to the MR sensor backside is formed above the AFM layer. The AP2 layer is pinned by the AFM layer, and the AP1 layer serves as a reference layer to an overlying free layer during a read operation. The AP1 and AP2 layers have improved resistance to magnetization flipping because back portions thereof have a full cross-track width “w” between MR sensor sides thereby enabling greater pinning strength from the AFM layer. Front portions of the AP1/AP2 layers lie under the free layer and have a track width less than “w”. The bottom shield may have an anti-ferromagnetic coupling structure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 23, 2017
    Publication date: May 10, 2018
    Inventors: Ruhang Ding, Yewhee Chye, Wenyu Chen, Kunliang Zhang, Yan Wu, Min Li
  • Patent number: 9805743
    Abstract: A method of forming a sub-structure, suitable for use as a hot seed in a perpendicular magnetic recording head, is described. A buffer layer of alumina with a thickness of 50-350 Angstroms is formed by atomic layer deposition as a write gap. Thereafter, one or more seed layers having a body-centered cubic (bcc) crystal structure may be deposited on the buffer layer. Finally, a magnetic film made of FeCo or FeNi with a coercivity of 60-110 Oe is deposited on the seed layer(s) by a physical vapor deposition (PVD) method at a rate of 0.48 to 3.6 Angstroms per second. The magnetic film is preferably annealed at 220° C. for 2 hours in a 250 Oe applied magnetic field.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: Headway Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Shengyuan Wang, Kunliang Zhang, Min Li
  • Patent number: 9799357
    Abstract: A MR sensor is disclosed with an antiferromagnetic (AFM) layer recessed behind a bottom shield to reduce reader shield spacing and improve pin related noise. Above the AFM layer is an AP2/AFM coupling layer/AP1 stack that extends from an air bearing surface to the MR sensor backside. The AP2 layer is pinned by the AFM layer, and the AP1 layer serves as a reference layer to an overlying free layer during a read operation. The AP1 and AP2 layers have improved resistance to magnetization flipping because back portions thereof have a full cross-track width “w” between MR sensor sides thereby enabling greater pinning strength from the AFM layer. Front portions of the AP1/AP2 layers lie under the free layer and have a track width less than “w”. The bottom shield may have an anti-ferromagnetic coupling structure. A process flow is provided for fabricating the MR sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: Headway Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Ruhang Ding, Yewhee Chye, Wenyu Chen, Kunliang Zhang, Min Li
  • Publication number: 20170301855
    Abstract: A seed layer stack with a smooth top surface having a peak to peak film thickness variation of about 0.5 nm is formed by sputter depositing a second seed layer on a first seed layer that is Mg, MgN, or an alloy thereof where the second seed layer has a bond energy substantially greater than that of the first seed layer. The second seed layer may be Ta or NiCr. In some embodiments, an uppermost seed layer that is one or both of Ru and Cu is deposited on the second seed layer. Higher coercivity (Hc) and perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (Hk) is observed in an overlying ferromagnetic layer than when a prior art seed layer stack is employed. The first seed layer has a thickness from 2 to 20 Angstroms and has a resputtering rate about 2 to 40 times that of the second seed layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 14, 2016
    Publication date: October 19, 2017
    Inventors: Kunliang Zhang, Ruhang Ding, Min Li, Wenyu Chen
  • Patent number: 9761254
    Abstract: A MR sensor is disclosed that has a free layer (FL) with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA), which eliminates the need for an adjacent hard bias structure to stabilize free layer magnetization, and minimizes shield-FL interactions. In a TMR embodiment, a seed layer, free layer, junction layer, reference layer, and pinning layer are sequentially formed on a bottom shield. After forming a sensor sidewall that stops in the seed layer or on the bottom shield, a conformal insulation layer is deposited. Thereafter, a top shield is formed on the insulation layer and includes side shields that are separated from the FL by a narrow read gap. The sensor is scalable to widths <50 nm when PMA is greater than the FL self-demag field. Effective bias field is rather insensitive to sensor aspect ratio, which makes tall stripe and narrow width sensors viable for high RA TMR configurations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2017
    Assignee: Headway Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Yuchen Zhou, Kunliang Zhang, Zhi Gang Bai
  • Patent number: 9601137
    Abstract: A method of forming a magnetoresistive (MR) sensor with a composite tunnel barrier comprised primarily of magnesium oxynitride and having a MR ratio of at least 70%, resistance x area (RA) product <1 ohm-?m2, and fewer pinholes than a conventional MgO layer is disclosed. The method involves forming a Mg/MgON/Mg, Mg/MgON/MgN, MgN/MgON/MgN, or MgN/MgON/Mg intermediate tunnel barrier stack and then annealing to drive loosely bound oxygen into adjacent layers thereby forming MgO/MgON/Mg, MgO/MgON/MgON, MgON/MgON/MgON, and MgON/MgON/MgO composite tunnel barriers, respectively, wherein oxygen content in the middle MgON layer is greater than in upper and lower MgON layers. The MgON layer in the intermediate tunnel barrier may be formed by a sputtering process followed by a natural oxidation step and has a thickness greater than the Mg and MgN layers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2017
    Assignee: Headway Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Kunliang Zhang, Hui-Chuan Wang, Junjie Quan, Min Li
  • Publication number: 20170077391
    Abstract: A MR sensor is disclosed that has a free layer (FL) with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA), which eliminates the need for an adjacent hard bias structure to stabilize free layer magnetization, and minimizes shield-FL interactions. In a TMR embodiment, a seed layer, free layer, junction layer, reference layer, and pinning layer are sequentially formed on a bottom shield. After forming a sensor sidewall that stops in the seed layer or on the bottom shield, a conformal insulation layer is deposited. Thereafter, a top shield is formed on the insulation layer and includes side shields that are separated from the FL by a narrow read gap. The sensor is scalable to widths <50 nm when PMA is greater than the FL self-demag field. Effective bias field is rather insensitive to sensor aspect ratio, which makes tall stripe and narrow width sensors viable for high RA TMR configurations.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 29, 2016
    Publication date: March 16, 2017
    Inventors: Yuchen Zhou, Kunliang Zhang, Zhi Gang Bai
  • Patent number: 9577184
    Abstract: A TMR sensor that includes a free layer having at least one B-containing (BC) layer made of CoFeB, CoFeBM, CoB, CoBM, or CoBLM, and a plurality of non-B containing (NBC) layers made of CoFe, CoFeM, or CoFeLM is disclosed where L and M are one of Ni, Ta, Ti, W, Zr, Hf, Tb, or Nb. One embodiment is represented by (NBC/BC)n where n?2. A second embodiment is represented by (NBC/BC)n/NBC where n?1. In every embodiment, a NBC layer contacts the tunnel barrier and NBC layers each with a thickness from 2 to 8 Angstroms are formed in alternating fashion with one or more BC layers each 10 to 80 Angstroms thick. Total free layer thickness is <100 Angstroms. The free layer configuration described herein enables a significant noise reduction (SNR enhancement) while realizing a high TMR ratio, low magnetostriction, low RA, and low Hc values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2017
    Assignee: Headway Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Tong Zhao, Hui-Chuan Wang, Yu-Chen Zhou, Min Li, Kunliang Zhang
  • Patent number: 9558765
    Abstract: A spin transfer oscillator (STO) with a seed/FGL/spacer/SIL/capping configuration is disclosed with a composite seed layer made of Ta and a metal layer having a fcc(111) or hcp(001) texture to enhance perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) in an overlying (A1/A2)YFeCo laminated field generation layer (FGL). The spin injection layer (SIL) may be laminated with a (A1/A2)XFeCo configuration. The FeCo layer in the SIL is exchanged coupled with the (A1/A2)X laminate (x is 5 to 50) to improve robustness. The (A1/A2)Y laminate (y=5 to 30) in the FGL may be exchange coupled with a high Bs layer to enable easier oscillations. A1 may be one of Co, CoFe, or CoFeR where R is a metal, and A2 is one of Ni, NiCo, or NiFe. The STO is typically formed between a main pole and trailing shield in a write head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2017
    Assignee: Headway Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Kunliang Zhang, Min Li, Yuchen Zhou
  • Publication number: 20170025135
    Abstract: The use of supermalloy-like materials such as NiFeMe where Me is one or more of Mo, Cr, and Cu for the side and top shields of a magnetic bit sensor is shown to provide better shielding protection from stray fields because of their extremely high permeability. Moreover, the side shield may comprise a stack in which a Ni, Fe, Co, FeNi, CoFe, or FeCo is sandwiched between two NiFeMe layers to enhance the bias field on an adjacent free layer. Including NiFeMe in a side shield results in an increase in readback amplitude under the same asymmetric sigma. For these sensors, the signal to noise ratio was higher and the bit error rate was lower than with conventional materials in the side shield.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 3, 2016
    Publication date: January 26, 2017
    Inventors: Yewhee Chye, Kunliang Zhang, Min Li