Spin-polarization in half-metals

C.M. Fang, G.A. Wijs, de, R.A. Groot, de

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Half-metals are defined by an electronic structure, which shows conduction by charge carriers of one spin direction exclusively. Consequently, the spin polarization of the conduction electrons should be 100%. In reality this complete spin polarization is not always observed. Since the experimental search for half-metals is tedious and the verification of the expected spin polarization is involved, electronic structure calculations have played an important role in this area. So, an important question is, how the approximations in such calculations influence the resulting spin polarization of the conduction. Another aspect is the well-known fact that bulk properties can be very different from surface and interface properties. Indeed, measurements of the spin polarization in the bulk for, e.g., NiMnSb, show results different from surface sensitive measurements. In this respect it is important to realize that the origin of half-metallic behavior is not unique. Consequently, the deviations from the bulk behavior at the surface/interface can be important. Three different categories of half-metals can be distinguished and their expected surface properties will be discussed. Finally, ways will be described to control the properties at interfaces. ©2002 American Institute of Physics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8340-8344
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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