The sheet conductances of top-pinned spin valves and single-material films were measured in situ as the thin-film layers were grown. The data were fit to a Boltzmann transport calculation. The electrical conductivity and electron mean free paths were determined for each material by measuring the in situ conductance of thick single-material films. The electron transmission probabilities were deduced for each interface from the theoretical fits to the multilayer data. From these interfacial transport parameters the ratio of current density to electronic field, or effective conductivity, was calculated as a function of position for the completed spin valve. It was found that the distribution of current in the spin valve was not very sensitive to the overall amount of diffuse scattering at the interfaces.
Applied Physics Letters
Boltzmann transport equation, Co, CoFe, Cu, current density, specularity, spin valves