Journal of Applied Physics

Giant magnetoresistance of Fe/Cr multilayers: Impurity scattering model of the influence of third elements deposited at the interfaces

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We describe the least complex model of giant magnetoresistance that maintains the essential features of spin-dependent impurity scattering; it pictures the multilayer as a homogeneous distribution of scattering centers whose scattering properties depend only on the impurity element and local magnetization direction of the layers into which the centers are imbedded. Model predictions are compared with results of sputtered Fe/Cr multilayer films where small amounts of third elements (V, Cr, Mn, Al, Ir, and Ge), with known spin-dependent scattering properties in dilute alloys, are deposited at the interfaces. The model is in agreement with the observed behavior.