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Electronic structure of a half-metal that is conducting in the minority spin channel.

A half-metal is any substance that acts as a conductor to electrons of one spin orientation, but as an insulator or semiconductor to those of the opposite orientation. Although all half-metals are ferromagnetic (or ferrimagnetic), most ferromagnets are not half-metals. Many of the known examples of half-metals are oxides, sulfides, or Heusler alloys.[1]

In half-metals, the valence band for one spin orientation is partially filled while there is a gap in the density of states for the other spin orientation. This results in conducting behavior for only electrons in the first spin orientation. In some half-metals, the majority spin channel is the conducting one while in others the minority channel is.[citation needed]

Some notable half-metals are chromium(IV) oxide, magnetite, and lanthanum strontium manganite (LSMO),[1] as well as chromium arsenide. Half-metals have attracted some interest for their potential use in spintronics.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Coey, J.M.D.; Venkatesan, M. (2002). "Half-metallic ferromagnetism: Example of CrO2". Journal of Applied Physics. 91 (10): 8345–50. Bibcode:2002JAP....91.8345C. doi:10.1063/1.1447879. 

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