Electron beam induced tunneling magnetoresistance in spatially confined manganite bridges†
Certain manganites exhibit rich and technologically relevant transport properties which can often be attributed to the existence and changes of the intrinsic electronic phase competition within these materials. Here we demonstrate that a scanning electron beam can be used to artificially create domain configurations within La0.3Pr0.4Ca0.3MnO3 thin film microbridges that results in novel magneto-transport effects. In particular, the electron beam preferentially produces insulating regions within the narrow film and can be used to create a configuration consisting of ferromagnetic metallic domains separated by a potential barrier. This arrangement enables the spin-dependent tunneling of charge carriers and can produce large switching tunneling magnetoresistance effects which were initially absent. Hence, this work describes a new and potentially powerful method for engineering the electronic phase domains in manganites to generate functional transport properties that are important for spintronic devices.