A magnetoresistive sensor element with a three-dimensional micro-architecture is capable of significantly improved sensitivity and highly localized measurement of magnetic fields. The sensor is formed of a multilayer film of alternately magnetic and nonmagnetic materials. The sensor is optimally operated in a current perpendicular to plane mode. The sensor is useful in magnetic read/write heads, for high density magnetic information storage and retrieval.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.