Ultrahigh Magnetoresistance at Room Temperature in Molecular Wires

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Science  19 Jul 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6143, pp. 257-260
DOI: 10.1126/science.1237242

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When data is read off your computer's hard drive, chances are that the read head is using the phenomenon of magnetoresistance (MR)—the dependence of electrical resistance on applied magnetic field—to interpret the magnetic signature of the data on the disk. Devices that have the large MR necessary for such tasks are usually made of layers of magnetic materials. Mahato et al. (p. 257, published online 4 July) observed a large MR effect in a nonmagnetic material—organic molecules squeezed into a zeolite crystal. Importantly for potential future applications, the effect was observed at room temperature and at low magnetic fields.


Systems featuring large magnetoresistance (MR) at room temperature and in small magnetic fields are attractive owing to their potential for applications in magnetic field sensing and data storage. Usually, the magnetic properties of materials are exploited to achieve large MR effects. Here, we report on an exceptionally large (>2000%), room-temperature, small-field (a few millitesla) MR effect in one-dimensional, nonmagnetic systems formed by molecular wires embedded in a zeolite host crystal. This ultrahigh MR effect is ascribed to spin blockade in one-dimensional electron transport. Its generic nature offers very good perspectives to exploit the effect in a wide range of low-dimensional systems.

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