Magnetism in Gallium Nitride Nanosheets

Magnetism in Gallium Nitride Nanosheets

Author: Jenna Pope

Gallium nitride (GaN) is a two-dimensional semiconducting nanomaterial, similar to graphene, that has applications in optoelectronics as well as high-temperature and high-power devices, and is ideal for producing blue and ultraviolet LEDs. Pristine GaN is not magnetic; however, doping GaN with transition metals can induce magnetic properties.

Guo-Xiang Chen, Xi’an Shiyou University, Shaanxi, China, and colleagues used density functional theory (DFT) calculations to study the magnetic properties of GaN doped with a variety of transition metals (Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, and Ni). The researchers found that transition metals did indeed induce magnetic properties in doped GaN. While the magnetization came primarily from the transition metal d-electrons, the p-electrons of nitrogen also played a role in inducing magnetism. The transition metal atoms hybridized with neighboring nitrogen atoms, which enhanced charge transfer between the transition metal atoms and the GaN nanosheet.

Of the transition metals studied, manganese and nickel showed 100% spin polarization, making them good candidates for dopants in diluted magnetic semiconductors (DMSs) for spintronic applications.


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