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Title: Interface or bulk scattering in the semiclassical theory for spin valves
Authors: Wang, L.
McMahon, W.J.
Liu, B.
Wu, Y.H. 
Chong, C.T. 
Issue Date: Jun-2004
Citation: Wang, L., McMahon, W.J., Liu, B., Wu, Y.H., Chong, C.T. (2004-06). Interface or bulk scattering in the semiclassical theory for spin valves. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics 69 (21) : 214403-1. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: By taking into account spin asymmetries of the interface transmissions and the bulk mean free paths, we have treated pure interface, non-pure interface, bulk, and interface plus bulk scattering within the semiclassical Boltzmann theory. First, the optimizations of NOL (nano-oxide-layers) insertions in bottom, synthetic, and dual spin valves and the variations of the giant magnetoresistance (GMR) with the thickness of the free layer have been examined. For non-pure interface, bulk, and interface plus bulk scattering, qualitative trends of GMR versus NOL positions in spin valves are similar to each other. For pure interface scattering, there is no optimized NOL insertion positions and the blocking effect of the NOL inserted in the spacer remains effective as other three kinds of scattering. The GMR ratio for bulk scattering simply approaches zero when the free layer thickness becomes short; in contrast, for interface scattering or interface plus bulk scattering, the GMR ratio is nonzero at zero thickness of the free layer. Second, the relationships between GMR and specular and diffusive scattering have been explored. As far as specular reflection is concerned, our results imply that for a realistic bottom spin filter spin valve, Ta/NiFe/IrMn/CoFe/Cu/CoFe/Cu/Ta, roughness of the surfaces of Ta and the interfaces of Ta/NiFe, NiFe/IrMn, pinned layer/spacer, and spacer/free layer may lead to large GMR. We also find that the enhancement of GMR due to surface specular reflection is only a pure interface effect. The dependences of GMR on the specular transmissions roughly follow square relations. The trends of GMR against the spin-down diffusive scattering depend on the values of the spin-up transmission. Finally, impurity scattering was investigated and our semiclassical results are in qualitative agreement with the experiments and the quantum theory.
Source Title: Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
ISSN: 01631829
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.69.214403
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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