Istituto dei materiali per l'elettronica ed il magnetismo     
Allia P., Celegato F., Coisson M., Tiberto P., Vinai F., Albertini F., Casoli F. Anomalous low-temperature magnetoresistance dips in sputtered ferromagnetic thin films and multilayers. In: Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 103 article n. 073905. American Institute of Physics, 2008.
A set of ferromagnetic thin films and multilayers containing 3d metals (Fe, Co) in different amounts was prepared by rf sputtering. Each sample exhibits a specific magnetic and magnetoresistive behavior, as expected for materials having different saturation magnetizations, magnetic anisotropies, and surface-to-volume ratios. From room temperature down to about 10 K, the magnetoresistance is explained in terms of well-known mechanisms; at low fields, a negative magnetoresistance is measured. Between 10 and 30 K, the zero-field electrical resistance appears to be dominated by electron-phonon scattering. At lower temperatures, where the R vs T curve is almost saturated, a sudden drop of the resistance appears, whose magnitude and position vary from sample to sample. Below the drop temperature, a region of positive magnetoresistance is systematically observed at around H=0 in measurements done with the magnetic field applied either parallel or perpendicular to the film plane. The dip magnitude increases with decreasing temperature. The anomaly appears to be related to the presence of magnetic inhomogeneity in the samples. The experimental results are not explained in terms of standard magnetoresistance mechanisms. Effects related to quantum coherence of conduction electrons may be the source of the observed anomalies. The role of weak localization of electrons, inhibited by the additional scattering provided by the magnetic inhomogeneity on the nanometer scale, is discussed.
URL: http://scitation.aip.org/getabs/servlet/GetabsServlet?prog=normal&id=JAPIAU000103000007073905000001&idtype=cvips&gifs=yes
DOI: 10.1063/1.2901185
Subject Magnetotransport phenomena
Metals and alloys

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