Spin-selective Kondo insulator: cooperation of ferromagnetism and the Kondo effect

Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Feb 24;108(8):086402. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.086402. Epub 2012 Feb 22.

Abstract

We propose the notion of a spin-selective Kondo insulator, which provides a fundamental mechanism to describe the ferromagnetic phase of the Kondo lattice model with antiferromagnetic coupling. This unveils a remarkable feature of the ferromagnetic metallic phase: the majority-spin conduction electrons show metallic while the minority-spin electrons show insulating behavior. The resulting Kondo gap in the minority-spin sector, which is due to the cooperation of ferromagnetism and partial Kondo screening, evidences a dynamically induced commensurability for a combination of minority-spin electrons and parts of localized spins. Furthermore, this mechanism predicts a nontrivial relation between the macroscopic quantities such as electron magnetization, spin polarization, and electron filling.