• Spin;
  • magnetoresistance;
  • magnetite;
  • nano-particle;
  • halfmetal.


The control of spin-dependent-magnetoresistance by regulation of the heat treatment (HT) temperature for magnetite (Fe3O3) nano-particle sinter (MNPS) has been studied. The average nano-particle size in the MNPS is 30nm and the HT was carried out from 400°C to 800°C. The HT of the MNPS varies the coupling form between adjacent magnetite nano-particles and the crystallinity of that. The measurements on electrical resistance (ER), magnetoresistance (MR) and magnetization were performed between 4K and 300K. The behavior of the ER and MR considerably changes at the HT temperature of ∼600°C. Below ∼600°C the ER indicates the variable-range-hopping conduction behavior and the MR shows the large intensity in a wide temperature region. Above ∼600°C the ER shows the indication of the Verwey transition near 110K like a bulk single crystal and the MR designates the smaller intensity. We consider that below ∼600°C the ER and MR are dominated by the grain-boundary conduction and above ∼600°C those are determined by the inter-grain conduction. The magnetic field application to the grain-boundary region is inferred to cause the large enhancement of the MR.