Determination of the percolation threshold in Fe/MgO magnetic granular multilayers

J Phys Condens Matter. 2010 Feb 10;22(5):056003. doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/22/5/056003. Epub 2010 Jan 15.


The evolution of the morphology, magnetic and transport properties of Fe(t nm)/MgO(3.0 nm) multilayers with respect to the nominal metallic layer thickness was investigated. A comparison with existing experimental data on discontinuous metal-insulator multilayers, ultrathin epitaxial Fe films on MgO substrates and granular cermet films is made. It is confirmed that the deposition conditions and the material composition play a crucial role in the percolation process. Nominal thicknesses of Fe layers at which an infinite metallic cluster is formed and the conditions for continuous Fe coverage were determined. Different methods of percolation threshold detection were analysed. We show that investigation of the temperature dependence of resistance in nanostructures could lead to an overestimation of the percolation threshold value, while magnetic measurements alone could lead to its underestimation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't