Weakly-correlated nature of ferromagnetism in non symmorphic CrO$_2$ revealed by bulk-sensitive soft X ray ARPES.
Chromium dioxide CrO$_2$ belongs to a class of materials called ferromagnetic half-metals, whose peculiar aspect is to act as a metal in one spin orientation and as semiconductor or insulator in the opposite one. Despite numerous experimental and theoretical studies motivated by technologically important applications of this material in spintronics, its fundamental properties such as momentum resolved electron dispersions and Fermi surface have so far remained experimentally inaccessible due to metastability of its surface that instantly reduces to amorphous Cr$_2$O$_3$. In this work, we demonstrate that direct access to the native electronic structure of CrO$_2$ can be achieved with soft-X-ray angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy whose large probing depth penetrates through the Cr$_2$O$_3$ layer. For the first time the electronic dispersions and Fermi surface of CrO$_2$ are measured, which are fundamental prerequisites to solve the long debate on the nature of electronic correlations in this material. Since density functional theory augmented by a relatively weak local Coulomb repulsion gives an exhaustive description of our spectroscopic data, we rule out strong-coupling theories of CrO$_2$. Crucial for the correct interpretation of our experimental data in terms of the valence band dispersions is the understanding of a non-trivial spectral response of CrO$_2$ caused by interference effects in the photoemission process originating from the non-symmorphic space group of the rutile crystal structure of CrO$_2$.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1607.01703
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