Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


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Published in J. Appl. Phys., Vol. 89, No. 11, 1 June 2001. Copyright © 2001 American Institute of Physics. Used by permission.


The electron transport and magnetoresistance (MR) were investigated in high quality crystalline epitaxial Fe(001) and Au(001) films and exchange coupled Au/Fe/Au/Fe/GaAs(001) trilayer structures. Fits to the experimental data were based on the semiclassical Boltzmann equation, which incorporates the electronic properties obtained from first-principles local density functional calculations. The fits require a surprisingly high asymmetry for the spin dependent electron lifetimes in Fe, τ/ τ =10 at room temperature. Despite the large atomic terraces at the Au/vacuum and Fe/GaAs interfaces the scattering at the outer interfaces was found to be diffuse. The origin of MR in Au/Fe/Au/Fe/GaAs(001) structures is due to electron channeling in the Au spacer layer. The measured MR is consistent with the diffusivity parameters s=0.55, s=0.77 at the metal–metal interfaces.

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