Microscopic mechanisms of giant magnetoresistance

C. Vouille, A. Barthélémy, F. Elokan Mpondo, A. Fert, P. A. Schroeder, Shih-ying Hsu, A. Reilly, R. Loloee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


We present magnetoresistance measurements aimed at answering several open questions in the understanding of giant magnetoresistance (GMR). Our measurements are performed on (F1/N/F2/N) multilayers in which N is a nonmagnetic metal (Cu or Cr), and F1 and F2 are various ferromagnetic metals or alloys. In current perpendicular to the plane (CPP) measurements on (F1/Cu/Co/Cu) multilayers, where F1 is Fe, Co, or Ni doped with impurities, we observe an inversion of the GMR for V or Cr impurities; this demonstrates, first the importance of the extrinsic effects in GMR and secondly the possibility of obtaining negative as well as positive values of the bulk spin asymmetry coefficient β. A compensation thickness with zero GMR is found when the bulk and interface spin asymmetry have opposite signs in the same layer. We interpret the sign of β in models of electronic structure. Measurements on other series of multilayers allow us to show that the interface spin asymmetry coefficient ? can also be positive (interfaces with Cu) or negative (interfaces with Cr). Finally, the comparison between CPP and CIP data obtained on the same samples sheds light on the different role of the interface intrinsic potential in the two geometries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6710-6722
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999


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