Magnetoresistance in dilute magnetic semiconductors is studied in the hopping transport regime. Measurements performed on Cl-doped Zn1–xMnxSe with x < 8% are compared with simulation results obtained by a hopping transport model. The energy levels of the Cl donors are affected by the magnetization of Mn atoms in their vicinity via the s-d exchange interaction. Compositional disorder, in particular, the random distribution of magnetic atoms, leads to a magnetic-field induced broadening of the donor energy distribution. As the energy distribution broadens, the electron transport is hindered and a large positive contribution to the magnetoresistance arises. This broadening of the donor energy distribution is largely sufficient to account for the experimentally observed magnetoresistance effects in n-type (Zn,Mn)Se with donor concentrations below the metal–insulator transition.

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