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Spin colossal magnetoresistance in an antiferromagnetic insulator

Qiu, Z.*; Hou, D.*; Barker, J.*; Yamamoto, Kei  ; Gomonay, O.*; Saito, Eiji*

Colossal magnetoresistance (CMR) refers to a large change in electrical conductivity induced by a magnetic field in the vicinity of a metal-insulator transition. CMR occurs due to a correlation between the magnetic structure and electron conduction and has inspired extensive studies for decades. Here, in the antiferromagnetic insulator Cr$$_{2}$$O$$_{3}$$, we found a sharp transition between conducting and nonconducting states for spin currents at room temperature. The spin-current transmission changes by two orders of magnitude within a narrow temperature window of 14K around the Neel temperature. The spin conductor-nonconductor transition can be modulated by a magnetic field, giving an isothermal change of spin-current transmission of up to 500%, effectively an on-off switch for spin currents.

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Category:Chemistry, Physical

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