Faculty Publications

Electronic, Magnetic, and Structural Properties of CoVMnSb: Ab Initio Study

Document Type


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Applied Physics






We present computational results on electronic, magnetic, and structural properties of CoVMnSb, a quaternary Heusler alloy. Our calculations indicate that this material may crystallize in two energetically close structural phases: inverted and regular cubic. The inverted cubic phase is the ground state, with ferrimagnetic alignment, and around 80% spin polarization. Despite having a relatively large bandgap in the minority-spin channel close to the Fermi level, this phase does not undergo a half-metallic transition under pressure. This is explained by the “pinning” of the Fermi level at the minority-spin states at the Γ point. At the same time, the regular cubic phase is half-metallic and retains its perfect spin polarization under a wide range of mechanical strain. Transition to a regular cubic phase may be attained by applying uniform pressure (but not biaxial strain). In practice, this pressure may be realized by an atomic substitution of non-magnetic atoms (Sb) with another non-magnetic atom (Si) of a smaller radius. Our calculations indicate that 25% substitution of Sb with Si results in a half-metallic regular cubic phase being the ground state. In addition, CoVMnSb0.5Si0.5 retains its half-metallic properties under a considerable range of mechanical pressure, as well as exhibits thermodynamic stability, thus making this alloy attractive for potential spintronic applications. We hope that the presented results will stimulate experimental efforts to synthesize this compound.


Department of Physics

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