Date of this Version
Using a free-electron model and a linear response theory we investigate spin-dependent electronic transport in magnetic nanocontacts in the ballistic regime of conduction. We emphasize the fact that in atomic-size ferromagnetic contacts it is possible to achieve the conductance value of e2/h, which implies a fully spin-polarized electric current. We explore some consequences of this phenomenon. In particular, we show that the presence of a nonmagnetic region in the nanocontact separating two ferromagnetic electrodes can lead to a spin blockade resulting in very large values of magnetoresistance.