A magnetic read head has a current perpendicular to the planes (CPP) sensor with a top cap layer that is ruthenium (Ru) or rhodium (Rh) or a top cap layer structure which includes a first layer of tantulum (Ta) only, a second layer of ruthenium (Ru), rhodium (Rh) or gold (Au) with the first layer being located between a spacer layer and the second layer.

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