Spintronics

Spintronics combine the use of the charge and the spin of electrons as information carriers. This leads to an
additional degree of freedom and to potential advantages over purely charge based electronics like, e.g., nonvolatility
of the data, large storage density and lower energy consumption [1-4]. Potential applications for
spintronics are magnetic hard discs, magnetic random access memories (MRAMS) as well as angle and field
dependent sensors. Materials with a high spin polarisation at the Fermi energy are interesting for spintronic
applications due their potential to realise devices with improved magneto-resistance (MR) and low signal-tonoise
ratio. Particularly, half-metallic ferromagnets are currently of scientific interest, as they are predicted to
be completely spin polarised at the Fermi level. Materials that show electronic conductivity in only one spin direction represent the ideal case. These materials with 100 % spin polarization are referred to as half-metallic ferromagnets. Suitable half-metallic ferromagnets are found among the
Heusler compounds [3].

 

Figure 1: Schematic density of states (DOS) of a half-metallic ferromagnet.

 

Figure 1: Schematic density of states (DOS) of a half-metallic ferromagnet.

 

[1] S. A. Wolf, D. D. Awschalom, R. A. Buhrmann, J. M. Daughton, S. von Molnár, M. L. Roukes,

A. Y. Chtelkanova, and D. M. Treger. Science, 294, 1488 (2001).

[2] I. Zutic, J. Fabian, and S. Das Sarma. Rev. Mod. Phys., 76, 323 (2004).

[3] C. Felser, G. H. Fecher, and B. Balke. Angewandte, Intern. Ed., 46, 668 (2007).

[4] M. Flatté. Spintronics. IEEE transactions on electronic devices, 54, 907 (2007).