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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Half-Metallic Digital Ferromagnetic Heterostructure Composed of a Delta-Doped Layer of Mn in Si

  • Author(s): Qian, M. C.
  • Fong, C. Y.
  • Liu, Kai
  • Pickett, W. E.
  • Pask, J. E.
  • Yang, L. H.
  • et al.

We propose and investigate the properties of a digital ferromagnetic heterostructure consisting of a delta-doped layer of Mn in Si, using ab initio electronic-structure methods. We find that (i) ferromagnetic order of the Mn layer is energetically favorable relative to antiferromagnetic, and (ii) the heterostructure is a two-dimensional half-metallic system. The metallic behavior is contributed by three majority-spin bands originating from hybridized Mn-d and nearest-neighbor Si-p states, and the corresponding carriers are responsible for the ferromagnetic order in the Mn layer. The minority-spin channel has a calculated semiconducting gap of 0.25 eV. The band lineup is found to be favorable for retaining the half-metal character to near the Curie temperature. This kind of heterostructure may be of special interest for integration into mature Si technologies for spintronic applications.

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