Enhanced giant magnetoimpedance effect and field sensitivity in Co-coated soft ferromagnetic amorphous ribbons

<p>A 50 nm-thick Co film has been grown either on the free surface(surface roughness, ∼6 nm) or on the wheel-side surface(surface roughness, ∼147 nm) of Co<sub>84.55</sub>Fe<sub>4.45</sub>Zr<sub>7</sub>B<sub>4</sub>amorphous ribbons. A comparative study of the giant magnetoimpedance (GMI) effect and its field sensitivity (<em>η</em>) in the uncoated and Co-coated ribbons is presented. We show that the presence of the Co coating layer enhances both the GMI ratio and <em>η</em> in the Co-coated ribbons. Larger values for GMI ratio and <em>η</em> are achieved in the sample with Co coated on the free ribbon surface. The enhancement of the GMI effect in the Co-coated ribbons originates mainly from the reduction in stray fields due to surface irregularities and the enhanced magnetic flux paths closure. These findings provide good guidance for tailoring GMI in surface-modified soft ferromagnetic ribbons for use in highly sensitive magnetic sensors.</p>