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J Phys Condens Matter. 2010 Feb 24;22(7):073202. doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/22/7/073202. Epub 2010 Feb 2.

Magnetism of solids resulting from spin polarization of p orbitals.

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Institute of Physics PAS, aleja Lotnikow 32/46, PL-02-668 Warsaw, Poland.


Magnetism in systems that do not contain transition metal or rare earth ions was recently observed or predicted to exist in a wide variety of systems. We summarize both experimental and theoretical results obtained for ideal bulk II-V and II-IV compounds, molecular crystals containing O(2) or N(2) molecules as structural units, as well as for carbon-based materials such as graphite and graphene nanoribbons. Magnetism can be an intrinsic property of a perfect crystal, or it can be induced by non-magnetic dopants or defects. In the case of vacancies, spin polarization is local and results in their high spin states. The non-vanishing spin polarization is shown to originate in the strong spin polarization of the 2p shell of light atoms from the second row of the periodic table.

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