Spin-dependent tunneling in discontinuous metal/insulator multilayers

B. Dieny, S. Sankar, Martha McCartney, David Smith, P. Bayle-Guillemaud, A. E. Berkowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


We have studied the structural, magnetic and transport properties of (Co/SiO2) discontinuous multilayers. These multilayers consist of layers of Co particles embedded in an insulating SiO2 matrix. The current-in-plane (CIP) and current-perpendicular-to-the-plane (CPP) resistivities of the discontinuous multilayers can be tuned independently over orders of magnitude by varying the nominal thicknesses of the metallic and insulating layers. Negative magnetoresistance (MR) due to spin-dependent tunneling has been observed in both CIP and CPP geometries. At room temperature the two magnetoresistive responses are similar, differing only in magnitude. At lower temperatures, the two responses are remarkably different. The CIP-MR saturates readily following the magnetization curve whereas the CPP-MR exhibits hysteresis up to magnetic fields higher than 20 kOe. These differences suggest the nature of the magnetic domain structure in each metallic plane. These systems should permit a combination of ease in preparation with high magnetoresistance sensitivity at low fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-292
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 16 1998


  • Coulomb blockade
  • Discontinuous multilayers
  • Metal/insulator multilayers
  • Spin electronics
  • Spin-polarized tunneling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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