Magnetoresistive effect in a quantum heterostructure with helical spacer: Interplay between helicity and external electric field

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Journal of Physics Condensed Matter


Giant magnetoresistive effect in a multi-layered structure not only depends on the properties of magnetic systems, it also strongly depends on the type of non-magnetic spacer that is clamped between magnetic layers. In this work, we critically investigate the role of a helical spacer in presence of a transverse electric field. Two kinds of helical geometries, possessing short-range (SRH) and long-range hopping (LRH) of electrons, are taken into account mimicking single-stranded DNA and protein molecules respectively. Sandwiching the magnetic-non-magnetic-magnetic quantum heterostructure between source and drain contact electrodes, we investigate the properties of giant magnetoresistance (GMR) following the Green's function formalism within a tight-binding framework. The interplay between SRHs and LRHs of electrons provides several nontrivial signatures in GMR, especially in the presence of transverse electric field, as it makes the system a deterministic disordered one, similar to the well-known Aubry-Andre-Harper from. The famous gapped nature of energy band structure in presence of cosine modulation leads to high degree of magnetoresistance at multiple Fermi energies, compared to the traditional spacers. The magnetoresistive effect can be monitored selectively by adjusting the electric field strength and its direction. Comparing the results between the SRH and LRH cases, we find that the later one is more superior. Finally, to make the system more realistic we include the effect of dephasing. Our analysis may provide some fundamental aspects of designing electronic and spintronic devices based on magnetoresistive effect.



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