A New Paradigm to Half-Metallicity in Graphene Nanoribbons

In contrast to the well-recognized transverse-electric-field-induced half-metallicity in zigzag graphene nanoribbons, here, we demonstrate by first-principles calculations that zigzag graphene nanoribbons sandwiched between hexagonal boron nitride nanoribbons or sheets can be tuned into half-metal simply by a bias voltage or a moderate compressive strain. The half-metallicity is attributed to an enhanced coupling effect of spontaneous polarization and asymmetrical exchange correlation along the ribbon width. The findings should open a viable route for efficient spin-resolved band engineering in graphene-based devices that are compatible with the current technology of the semiconductor industry.

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