Magnetoresistance of magnetic multilayers: Understanding Ohm's law

Smadar Shatz, Nathan Wiser

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The magnetic-field dependence of the magnetoresistance MR(H) of magnetic multilayers in the CPP mode (current perpendicular to the layers) was recently measured for two samples that differ only in the ordering of the layers: [Fe/Cu/Co/Cu]N and [Fe/Cu]N[Co/Cu]N, where N denotes the number of repeats. Ohm's law states that MR(H) should be the same for these two samples because in a series circuit, the resistance is independent of the ordering of the resistors. However, the measured MR(H) curves were found to be completely different for the two samples. We show that this unexpected result can be explained as follows. The mean free path is sufficiently long that MR(H) is due to the scattering of electrons by pairs of neighbouring magnetic layers, which differ for the two samples. To confirm these ideas, we carried out calculations of MR(H) and obtained quantitative agreement with experiment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-390
Number of pages9
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2001
EventInternational Workshop on Frontiers in the Physics of Complex Systems - Ramat-Gan, Israel
Duration: 25 Mar 200128 Mar 2001


  • CPP magnetoresistance
  • Giant magnetoresistance
  • Magnetic multilayers


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