Detecting domain-wall trapping and motion at a constriction in narrow ferromagnetic wires using perpendicular-current giant magnetoresistance

Zambano, A. J.; Pratt Jr., W. P.
August 2004
Applied Physics Letters;8/30/2004, Vol. 85 Issue 9, p1562
Academic Journal
We present a versatile method for detecting the presence and motion of a trapped domain wall in a narrow ferromagnetic layer using current-perpendicular-to-plane (CPP) giant magnetoresistance (MR). The CPP-MR response to small motions of the trapped domain wall is enhanced because the CPP current is restricted to the region of wall trapping. We use a Permalloy/Cu/Permalloy spin valve in the shape of a long, ∼500-nm-wide wire with a constriction (notch) near its middle that acts as a trapping site for a head-to-head domain wall. Two different notch shapes were studied, mostly at 4.2 K but also at 295 K.


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