Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Fine control of magnetic anisotropy in complex thin-film structures

Technology #cu12274

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Kenneth Shepard
Managed By
Greg Maskel
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending 20150125622

Multi-layer thin films heterostructures are essential components of inductors in on-chip power management and magnetic sensors for magnetic information storage. The control of magnetic anisotropy in such devices is extremely advantageous for the complexity and improved function of the heterostructures, but it is typically a cumbersome process to achieve such ends with traditional methods. This technology describes a method to rapidly achieve fine control of magnetic anisotropy in complex thin-film structures. This method utilizes established ultra-high vacuum magnetron sputtering techniques with additional modifications that allow for rapid and efficient production of complex multi-layer heterostructures. The ability to finely control magnetic anisotropy leads to improved user-end devices.

Simplified production method for multi-layer thin films with precise control of magnetic anisotropy

Traditional methods to achieve control of magnetic anisotropy in multi-layer devices are inefficient as they they involve breaking ultra-high vacuum systems and repositioning samples manually. This technology represents a sophisticated method that will greatly reduce the time required to produce such devices. This technology makes production of these devices easier, simpler, and quicker through automation. The end product is a more finely controlled and elegant device, with successive layers of ferromagnetics anisotropically tuned at will.

Lead Inventor:

William E. Bailey, Ph.D.


  • Thin films
  • Multi-layered thin films
  • Multi-layered thin-film heterostructures
  • Inductors in on-chip power management
  • Magnetic sensors for magnetic information storage


  • Automated
  • Easier
  • Quicker
  • More Sophisticated
  • Yields better end-product

Patent information:

Patent Pending (WO2013151763 A1)

Tech Ventures Reference: IR CU12274