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Direct Observation of Percolation in a Manganite Thin Film

Science  25 Oct 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5594, pp. 805-807
DOI: 10.1126/science.1077346

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Abstract

Upon cooling, the isolated ferromagnetic domains in thin films of La0.33Pr0.34Ca0.33MnO3start to grow and merge at the metal-insulator transition temperatureT P1, leading to a steep drop in resistivity, and continue to grow far below T P1. In contrast, upon warming, the ferromagnetic domain size remains unchanged until near the transition temperature. The jump in the resistivity results from the decrease in the average magnetization. The ferromagnetic domains almost disappear at a temperature T P2higher than T P1, showing a local magnetic hysteresis in agreement with the resistivity hysteresis. Even well above T P2, some ferromagnetic domains with higher transition temperatures are observed, indicating magnetic inhomogeneity. These results may shed more light on the origin of the magnetoresistance in these materials.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Permanent address: Department of Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, People's Republic of China.

  • Present address: Department of Physics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611–8440, USA.

  • § To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: lozanne{at}physics.utexas.edu

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