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Jourdan, M.; Minár, J.; Braun, J.; Kronenberg, A.; Chadov, S.; Balke, B.; Gloskovskii, A.; Kolbe, M.; Elmers, H. J.; Schönhense, G.; Ebert, H.; Felser, C. and Kläui, M. (2014): Direct observation of half-metallicity in the Heusler compound Co2MnSi. In: Nature Communications, Vol. 5, 3974 [PDF, 586kB]


Ferromagnetic thin films of Heusler compounds are highly relevant for spintronic applications owing to their predicted half-metallicity, that is, 100% spin polarization at the Fermi energy. However, experimental evidence for this property is scarce. Here we investigate epitaxial thin films of the compound Co2MnSi in situ by ultraviolet-photoemission spectroscopy, taking advantage of a novel multi-channel spin filter. By this surface sensitive method, an exceptionally large spin polarization of (93(-11)(+7)) % at room temperature is observed directly. As a more bulk sensitive method, additional ex situ spin-integrated high energy X-ray photoemission spectroscopy experiments are performed. All experimental results are compared with advanced band structure and photoemission calculations which include surface effects. Excellent agreement is obtained with calculations, which show a highly spin polarized bulk-like surface resonance ingrained in a half metallic bulk band structure.

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