Electrically induced 2D half-metallic antiferromagnets and spin field effect transistors

Shi-Jing Gong, Cheng Gong, Yu-Yun Sun, Wen-Yi Tong, Chun-Gang Duan, Jun-Hao Chu, Xiang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Scopus citations


Engineering the electronic band structure of material systems enables the unprecedented exploration of new physical properties that are absent in natural or as-synthetic materials. Half metallicity, an intriguing physical property arising from the metallic nature of electrons with singular spin polarization and insulating for oppositely polarized electrons, holds a great potential for a 100% spin-polarized current for high-efficiency spintronics. Conventionally synthesized thin films hardly sustain half metallicity inherited from their 3D counterparts. A fundamental challenge, in systems of reduced dimensions, is the almost inevitable spin-mixed edge or surface states in proximity to the Fermi level. Here, we predict electric field-induced half metallicity in bilayer A-type antiferromagnetic van der Waals crystals (i.e., intralayer ferromagnetism and interlayer antiferromagnetism), by employing density functional theory calculations on vanadium diselenide. Electric fields lift energy levels of the constituent layers in opposite directions, leading to the gradual closure of the gap of singular spin-polarized states and the opening of the gap of the others. We show that a vertical electrical field is a generic and effective way to achieve half metallicity in A-type antiferromagnetic bilayers and realize the spin field effect transistor. The electric field-induced half metallicity represents an appealing route to realize 2D half metals and opens opportunities for nanoscale highly efficient antiferromagnetic spintronics for information processing and storage.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8511-8516
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 3 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2016-CRG5-2996
Acknowledgements: The work at the University of California, Berkeley, was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grant 1753380 and the King Abdulah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) under Award OSR-2016-CRG5-2996. The work at East China Normal University (ECNU) was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant 61774059) and National Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai (Grant 18ZR1412500). Computations were performed at the ECNU computing center.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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