Ground-state properties of ferromagnetic metal/conjugated polymer interfaces

S. J. Xie, K. H. Ahn, D. L. Smith, A. R. Bishop, A. Saxena

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We theoretically investigate the ground-state properties of ferromagnetic metal/conjugated polymer interfaces. The work was partially motivated by recent experiments in which injection of spin-polarized electrons from ferromagnetic contacts into thin films of conjugated polymers was reported. We use a one-dimensional nondegenerate Su-Schrieffer-Heeger Hamiltonian to describe the conjugated polymer and one-dimensional tight-binding models to describe the ferromagnetic metal. We consider both a model for a conventional ferromagnetic metal, in which there are no explicit structural degrees of freedom, and a model for a half-metallic ferromagnetic colossal magnetoresistance (CMR) manganite that has explicit structural degrees of freedom. We investigate electron charge and spin transfer from the ferromagnetic metal to the organic polymer, and structural relaxation near the interface. We find that there can be spin density polarization in the polymer near the interface. The spin-density oscillates and decays into the polymer with a decay length of about six times the lattice constant of the polymer. We find an expansion of the end bonds of the CMR manganite segment and a contraction of the polymer bonds near the interface. By adjusting the relative chemical potential of the contact and the polymer, electrons can be transferred into the polymer from the magnetic layer through the interfacial coupling. We calculate the density of states (DOS) before and after coupling for cases in which electrons are transferred and are not transferred to the polymer. The DOS has important consequences for spin injection under electrical bias: polarized spin injection is possible when the Fermi level of the ferromagnet lies below the the bipolaron level of the polymer. However, if the Fermi level of the CMR manganite lies above the bipolaron level of the polymer, the transferred electrons form bipolarons, which have no spin, and there is no spin density in the bulk of the polymer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number125202
Pages (from-to)1252021-1252027
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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