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Compensated Ferrimagnetism in the Zero-Moment Heusler Alloy Mn3Al



Michelle Elizabeth Jamer, Yung Jui Wang, Gregory M. Stephen, Ian J. McDonald, Alexander J Grutter, George E. Sterbinsky, Dario A. Arena, Julie A. Borchers, Brian J Kirby, Laura H. Lewis, Bernardo Barbiellini, Arun Bansil, Don Heiman


While antiferromagnets have been proposed as components to limit stray magnetic fields in spintronics devices, their inability to be spin polarized inhibits their use. Compensated ferrimagnets are a unique solution to this dilemma since they have zero net moment, but their nonsymmetric density of states allow achievement of full spin polarization. Density functional theory predicts that Mn3Al in the DO3 structure should be fully compensated while retaining half-metallicity at room temperature. In this work, 50 nm Mn3Al thin films have been synthesized using molecular beam epitaxy and annealed at various temperatures to isolate these properties. Magnetometry measurements confirmed the high Curie temperature of 600 K. Polarized neutron reflectometry (PNR) provided a determination of the low net magnetic moment, along with depth profiles of the structure and magnetization. From the PNR data, we extract a saturation magnetization of 0.11 {plus or minus} 0.02 υB/f.u., thereby confirming the nominal zero moment present in these thin films.
Physical Review Applied


Heuslers, low moment ferrimagnetism


, M. , , Y. , , G. , , I. , , A. , , G. , , D. , Borchers, J. , , B. , , L. , Barbiellini, B. , Bansil, A. and Heiman, D. (2017), Compensated Ferrimagnetism in the Zero-Moment Heusler Alloy Mn<sub>3</sub>Al, Physical Review Applied, [online], (Accessed July 16, 2024)


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Created June 30, 2017, Updated October 2, 2017