Perpendicular transport through an interface in the metallic regime is considered. The semi-classical theory presented is based on the Landauer-Büttiker formalism taking into account an effective mass mismatch at the interface and a non-zero average of random scattering potentials. The transmission probability for a given mode is found in terms of the effective mass and the conduction band bottom to the left and to the right of the interface, the Fermi energy, the self-energy of the electron, and the transverse wave vector of the electron. The diffuse and specular contributions to the interface roughness scattering are shown to be equally important in the weak scattering limit. Predictions for the transport properties of interfaces with a low concentration of strongly scattering defects should be accessible to verification by experiments. The theory is applied to the spin-valve effect in magnetic multilayers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas