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Title: Equiatomic quaternary Heusler alloys: A material perspective for spintronic applications

Abstract

Half-metallic ferromagnetic (HMF) materials show high spin polarization and are therefore interesting to researchers due to their possible applications in spintronic devices. In these materials, while one spin sub band has a finite density of states at the Fermi level, the other sub band has a gap. Because of their high Curie temperature (T{sub C}) and tunable electronic structure, HMF Heusler alloys have a special importance among the HMF materials. Full Heusler alloys with the stoichiometric composition X{sub 2}YZ (where X and Y are the transition metals and Z is a sp element) have the cubic L2{sub 1} structure with four interpenetrating fcc sublattices. When each of these four fcc sublattices is occupied by different atoms (XX′YZ), a quaternary Heusler structure with different structural symmetries (space group F-43m, #216) is obtained. Recently, these equiatomic quaternary Heusler alloys (EQHAs) with 1:1:1:1 stoichiometry have attracted a lot of attention due to their superior magnetic and transport properties. A special class of HMF materials identified recently is known as spin gapless semiconductors (SGS). The difference in this case, compared with HMFs, is that the density of states for one spin band is just zero at the Fermi level, while the other has amore » gap as in the case of HMFs. Some of the reported SGS materials belong to EQHAs family. This review is dedicated to almost all reported materials belonging to EQHAs family. The electronic structure and hence the physical properties of Heusler alloys strongly depend on the degree of structural order and distribution of the atoms in the crystal lattice. A variety of experimental techniques has been used to probe the structural parameters and degree of order in these alloys. Their magnetic properties have been investigated using the conventional methods, while the spin polarization has been probed by point contact Andreev reflection technique. The experimentally obtained values of saturation magnetization are found to be in agreement with those estimated using the Slater-Pauling rule in most of the cases. Electrical resistivity and Hall measurements are being used to distinguish between SGS and HMF nature in detail. The current spin polarization value, P = 0.70 ± 0.01, for CoFeMnGe is found to be highest among the EQHAs. CoFeMnSi and CoFeCrGa are found to show SGS behavior with high Curie temperatures, thus making them suitable substitutes for diluted magnetic semiconductors. CoRuFeSi is found to have the highest T{sub C} among EQHAs. Theoretical prediction of magnetic properties on the basis of electronic structure calculations has also been reported in a few systems, which are also discussed in this review. Thus, this review presents a consolidated picture of the magnetic and spintronic properties of this important, but relatively new class of Heusler alloys. It is expected that this will stimulate further interest in these alloys, thereby paving the way for the identification of more HMF and SGS materials. As a result of this, it is expected that more efficient spintronic devices using these alloys would emerge in the near future.« less

Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Magnetic Materials Lab, Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai 400076 (India)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22594455
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Reviews; Journal Volume: 3; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: (c) 2016 Author(s); Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; CURIE POINT; DENSITY OF STATES; ELECTRIC CONDUCTIVITY; ELECTRONIC STRUCTURE; FCC LATTICES; HEUSLER ALLOYS; MAGNETIC PROPERTIES; MAGNETIC SEMICONDUCTORS; STOICHIOMETRY

Citation Formats

Bainsla, Lakhan, E-mail: lakhanbainsla@gmail.com, E-mail: suresh@phy.iitb.ac.in, and Suresh, K. G., E-mail: lakhanbainsla@gmail.com, E-mail: suresh@phy.iitb.ac.in. Equiatomic quaternary Heusler alloys: A material perspective for spintronic applications. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4959093.
Bainsla, Lakhan, E-mail: lakhanbainsla@gmail.com, E-mail: suresh@phy.iitb.ac.in, & Suresh, K. G., E-mail: lakhanbainsla@gmail.com, E-mail: suresh@phy.iitb.ac.in. Equiatomic quaternary Heusler alloys: A material perspective for spintronic applications. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4959093.
Bainsla, Lakhan, E-mail: lakhanbainsla@gmail.com, E-mail: suresh@phy.iitb.ac.in, and Suresh, K. G., E-mail: lakhanbainsla@gmail.com, E-mail: suresh@phy.iitb.ac.in. 2016. "Equiatomic quaternary Heusler alloys: A material perspective for spintronic applications". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4959093.
@article{osti_22594455,
title = {Equiatomic quaternary Heusler alloys: A material perspective for spintronic applications},
author = {Bainsla, Lakhan, E-mail: lakhanbainsla@gmail.com, E-mail: suresh@phy.iitb.ac.in and Suresh, K. G., E-mail: lakhanbainsla@gmail.com, E-mail: suresh@phy.iitb.ac.in},
abstractNote = {Half-metallic ferromagnetic (HMF) materials show high spin polarization and are therefore interesting to researchers due to their possible applications in spintronic devices. In these materials, while one spin sub band has a finite density of states at the Fermi level, the other sub band has a gap. Because of their high Curie temperature (T{sub C}) and tunable electronic structure, HMF Heusler alloys have a special importance among the HMF materials. Full Heusler alloys with the stoichiometric composition X{sub 2}YZ (where X and Y are the transition metals and Z is a sp element) have the cubic L2{sub 1} structure with four interpenetrating fcc sublattices. When each of these four fcc sublattices is occupied by different atoms (XX′YZ), a quaternary Heusler structure with different structural symmetries (space group F-43m, #216) is obtained. Recently, these equiatomic quaternary Heusler alloys (EQHAs) with 1:1:1:1 stoichiometry have attracted a lot of attention due to their superior magnetic and transport properties. A special class of HMF materials identified recently is known as spin gapless semiconductors (SGS). The difference in this case, compared with HMFs, is that the density of states for one spin band is just zero at the Fermi level, while the other has a gap as in the case of HMFs. Some of the reported SGS materials belong to EQHAs family. This review is dedicated to almost all reported materials belonging to EQHAs family. The electronic structure and hence the physical properties of Heusler alloys strongly depend on the degree of structural order and distribution of the atoms in the crystal lattice. A variety of experimental techniques has been used to probe the structural parameters and degree of order in these alloys. Their magnetic properties have been investigated using the conventional methods, while the spin polarization has been probed by point contact Andreev reflection technique. The experimentally obtained values of saturation magnetization are found to be in agreement with those estimated using the Slater-Pauling rule in most of the cases. Electrical resistivity and Hall measurements are being used to distinguish between SGS and HMF nature in detail. The current spin polarization value, P = 0.70 ± 0.01, for CoFeMnGe is found to be highest among the EQHAs. CoFeMnSi and CoFeCrGa are found to show SGS behavior with high Curie temperatures, thus making them suitable substitutes for diluted magnetic semiconductors. CoRuFeSi is found to have the highest T{sub C} among EQHAs. Theoretical prediction of magnetic properties on the basis of electronic structure calculations has also been reported in a few systems, which are also discussed in this review. Thus, this review presents a consolidated picture of the magnetic and spintronic properties of this important, but relatively new class of Heusler alloys. It is expected that this will stimulate further interest in these alloys, thereby paving the way for the identification of more HMF and SGS materials. As a result of this, it is expected that more efficient spintronic devices using these alloys would emerge in the near future.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4959093},
journal = {Applied Physics Reviews},
number = 3,
volume = 3,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9
}