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Derivation of the spin Hamiltonians for Fe in MgO

AuthorsFerrón, A.; Delgado, F.; Fernández-Rossier, J.
KeywordsMagnetic tunnel junction
Spin Hamiltonian
Density functional theory
Issue Date2015
PublisherInstitute of Physics Publishing
CitationNew Journal of Physics 17: 033020 (2015)
AbstractA method to calculate the effective spin Hamiltonian for a transition metal impurity in a non-magnetic insulating host is presented and applied to the paradigmatic case of Fe in MgO. In the first step we calculate the electronic structure employing standard density functional theory (DFT), based on generalized gradient approximation (GGA), using plane waves as a basis set. The corresponding basis of atomic-like maximally localized Wannier functions is derived and used to represent the DFT Hamiltonian, resulting in a tight-binding model for the atomic orbitals of the magnetic impurity. The third step is to solve, by exact numerical diagonalization, the N electron problem in the open shell of the magnetic atom, including both effects of spin-orbit and Coulomb repulsion. Finally, the low energy sector of this multi-electron Hamiltonian is mapped into effective spin models that, in addition to the spin matrices S, can also include the orbital angular momentum L when appropriate. We successfully apply the method to Fe in MgO, considering both the undistorted and Jahn-Teller (JT) distorted cases. Implications for the influence of Fe impurities on the performance of magnetic tunnel junctions based on MgO are discussed.
DescriptionContent from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1367-2630/17/3/033020
Identifiersdoi: 10.1088/1367-2630/17/3/033020
issn: 1367-2630
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