Using structural disorder to enhance the magnetism and spin-polarization in FexSi1-x thin films for spintronics

J Karel, Y. N. Zhang, C. Bordel, K. H. Stone, T Y Chen, C A Jenkins, David J Smith, J. Hu, R. Q. Wu, S M Heald, J. B. Kortright, F. Hellman

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Amorphous FexSi1-x thin films exhibit a striking enhancement in magnetization compared to crystalline films with the same composition (0.45 < x < 0.75), and x-ray magnetic circular dichroism reveals an enhancement in both spin and orbital moments in the amorphous films. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations reproduce this enhanced magnetization and also show a relatively large spinpolarization at the Fermi energy, also seen experimentally in Andreev reflection. Theory and experiment show that the amorphous materials have a decreased number of nearest neighbors and reduced number density relative to the crystalline samples of the same composition; the associated decrease in Fe-Si neighbors reduces the hybridization of Fe orbitals, leading to the enhanced moment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number026102
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials Research Express
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Amorphous
  • Thin film magnetism
  • Spintronics
  • X-ray absorption
  • X-ray magnetic circular dichroism
  • Density functional theory

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