Strain induced spin-splitting and half-metallicity in antiferromagnetic bilayer silicene under bending
Searching for half-metals in low dimensional materials is not only of scientific importance, but also has important implications for the realization of spintronic devices on a small scale. In this work, we show theoretically that simple bending can induce spin-splitting in bilayer silicene. For bilayer silicene with Bernal stacking, the monolayer has a long range ferromagnetic spin order and between the two monolayers, the spin orders are opposite, giving rise to an antiferromagnetic configuration for the ground state of the bilayer silicene. Under bending, the antiferromagnetic spin order is retained but the energetic degeneracy of opposite spin states is lifted. Due to the unusual deformation potentials of the conduction band minimum (CBM) and valence band maximum (VBM) as revealed by density-functional theory calculations and density-functional tight-binding calculations, this spin-splitting is nearly proportional to the degree of bending deformation. Consequently, the spin-splitting can be significant and the desired half-metallic state may emerge when the bending increases, which has been verified by direct simulation of the bent bilayer silicene using the generalized Bloch theorem. Our results hint that bilayer silicene may be an excellent candidate for half-metallicity.