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Issue 30, 2016
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Recent advances in the Heusler based spin-gapless semiconductors

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In recent years, spin-gapless semiconductors (SGSs) have received considerable interest in the fields of condensed matter physics and materials sciences due to their potential applications in novel spintronic devices. SGSs, with a zero gap at the Fermi level in one of the spin channels, can make electrons easy to excite from the valence band to the conduction band with a small input of energy and simultaneously produce electron and hole carriers with 100% spin polarization. Very recently, as a new member of SGSs family, fully-compensated ferrimagnetic spin-gapless semiconductors (FCF-SGSs) have been predicted. In addition to the properties of SGSs, FCF-SGSs possess zero magnetization, which is an added advantage for practical application. In this review article, we firstly review the progress on the Heusler-based materials with spin-gapless semiconducting behaviour, including half-Heusler compounds, full-Heusler compounds, DO3-type compounds, and LiMgPdSn-type quaternary Heusler compounds. Among these potential SGSs, some have been synthesized experimentally, while the others are just predicted by extensive first-principles calculations. Then, we explain the origin of the SGS characteristics in Heusler compounds based on the common Slater–Pauling curve and give a possible rule for making some on-demand designs of SGSs. Finally, we present a new spin injection scheme based on SGSs for practical applications and give a brief summary and outlook.

Graphical abstract: Recent advances in the Heusler based spin-gapless semiconductors

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Apr 2016, accepted on 16 Jun 2016 and first published on 17 Jun 2016

Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C6TC01343K
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. C, 2016,4, 7176-7192
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    Recent advances in the Heusler based spin-gapless semiconductors

    X. Wang, Z. Cheng, J. Wang, X. Wang and G. Liu, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2016, 4, 7176
    DOI: 10.1039/C6TC01343K

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