Anisotropic magnetoresistance (AMR) effect has been systematically investigated in various Heusler compounds Co2MnZ and Co 2FeZ (Z=Al, Si, Ge, and Ga) epitaxial films and quantitatively summarized against the total valence electron number NV. It was found that the sign of AMR ratio is negative when NV is between 28.2 and 30.3, and turns positive when NV becomes below 28.2 and above 30.3, indicating that the Fermi level (EF) overlaps with the valence or conduction band edges of half-metallic gap at NV ∼28.2 or 30.3, respectively. We also find out that the magnitude of negative AMR ratio gradually increases with shifting of EF away from the gap edges, and there is a clear positive correlation between the magnitude of negative AMR ratio and magnetoresistive output of the giant magnetoresistive devices using the Heusler compounds. This indicates that AMR can be used as a facile way to optimize a composition of half-metallic Heusler compounds having a high spin-polarization at room temperature.
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