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Spin dependent work function

  1. Jun 2, 2010 #1
    Work function is the energy to remove 1 electron from Fermi level out of the system. From the about definition, it seems that work function ought to be spin-independent.

    However in the electron configuration, the spin up is filled first and spin down is fill later. In result electron with spin down often stays in lower energy level comparing to one with spin up. So does that means work function should be spin-dependent?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2010 #2


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    The width of the valence band is significantly greater than the level-splitting, even in a large magnetic field, and it's also orders of magnitude smaller than the work function. To an extent, one has already taken spin into account as well, by using the Fermi-Dirac distribution.

    In short, there's a dependence but it's not very significant as it's orders of magnitude smaller than the work function.
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