The effects of interactions (dipolar and exchange) on the magnetic behavior of granular solid systems are examined using a Monte Carlo model capable of predicting the temperature and time dependence of the magnetic properties. Using this model the interaction effects on the magnetization and the magnetoresistance are studied. The results show that these properties depend critically on the strength and nature of the interactions. Magnetostatic interactions are found to decrease both remanence and coercivity and H-c is predicted to decrease linearly with concentration. It is shown that spatial disorder may be responsible for an increase of coercivity with exchange coupling which has been observed in some experimental studies. In systems with no hysteresis, magnetostatic interaction effects are found to increase the superparamagnetic transition temperature, in agreement with experimental data and previous analytical treatments. Calculations of the giant magnetoresistance (GMR) show that magnetostatic interaction effects give rise to a finite positive resistivity at zero field which increases with concentration. This causes the value of the maximum change in resistivity, which occurs near the coercivity, to be greater than the value ai zero field. These calculations are in agreement with experimental observations of GMR in granular solids. It is predicted that the GMR is strongly dependent on the spin diffusion length via the local spin-spin correlation function. (C) 1998 American Institute of Physics. S0021-8979(98)00421-6.
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