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February 1999
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Colossal magnetoresistance

Feature: February 1999

The discovery of colossal magnetoresistance in certain oxides of manganese has stimulated intense research into the properties of manganese perovskites and could lead to a new generation of electronic devices. Josep Fontcuberta. toc>

Structural properties<BR>of manganites
Structural properties
of manganites

In 1986 Alex Müller and Georg Bednorz of IBM Zurich discovered high-temperature superconductivity in copper-based oxides. This finding, which was rewarded with the Nobel Prize for Physics in the following year, triggered intense research into the properties of the transition metal oxides. Since then scientists have questioned the very nature of the metallic state in these materials.

A few years after the initial discovery, in 1993, more excitement greeted reports that certain manganese oxides showed a huge change in electrical resistivity when a magnetic field was applied. This effect is generally known as magnetoresistance, but the resistivity change observed in these oxides was so large that it could not be compared with any other forms of magnetoresistance. The effect observed in these materials - the manganese perovskites - was therefore dubbed "colossal" magnetoresistance to distinguish it from the giant magnetoresistance observed in magnetic multilayers.

In the February issue of Physics World, Josep Fontcuberta of the Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB) in Spain explains why magnetoresistance is an expanding field of physics research.

Further reading

N A Babushkina et al. 1998 Metal­insulator transition induced by oxygen isotope exchange in the magnetoresistive perovskite manganites Nature 31 159

L l Balcells et al. 1998 High-field magnetoresistance at interfaces in manganese perovskites Phys. Rev. B58 R14697

M Blamire and J Evetts 1996 Smaller angles boost colossal effects Physics World May p20

M Blamire et al. (ed) 1998 Understanding and utilizing colossal magnetoresistance materials Philosophical Trans. Royal. Soc. A 356 1469­1712

J M de Teresa et al. 1997 Evidence for magnetic polarons in the magnetoresistive perovskites Nature 386 256

J L Garcia-Muñoz et al. 1996 Bandwidth narrowing in L2/3A1/3MnO3 magnetoresistive oxides J. Phys. Condens. Matt. 8 L787

V Laukhin et al. 1997 Pressure effects on the metal­insulator transition in magnetoresistive manganese perovskites Phys. Rev. B56 RC 10009

A J Millis 1998 Lattice effects in the magnetoresistive manganese perovskites Nature 392 147

S Mori, C H Chen and S-W Cheong 1998 Pairing of charge-ordered stripes in (La, Ca)MnO3 Nature 392 473

J H Park et al. 1998 Magnetic properties at surface boundary of a half-metallic ferromagnet La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 Phys Rev. Lett. 81 1953

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Author

Josep Fontcuberta

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