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  1. Abstract Electric currents carrying a net spin polarization are widely used in spintronics, whereas globally spin-neutral currents are expected to play no role in spin-dependent phenomena. Here we show that, in contrast to this common expectation, spin-independent conductance in compensated antiferromagnets and normal metals can be efficiently exploited in spintronics, provided their magnetic space group symmetry supports a non-spin-degenerate Fermi surface. Due to their momentum-dependent spin polarization, such antiferromagnets can be used as active elements in antiferromagnetic tunnel junctions (AFMTJs) and produce a giant tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) effect. Using RuO 2 as a representative compensated antiferromagnet exhibiting spin-independent conductance alongmore »the [001] direction but a non-spin-degenerate Fermi surface, we design a RuO 2 /TiO 2 /RuO 2 (001) AFMTJ, where a globally spin-neutral charge current is controlled by the relative orientation of the Néel vectors of the two RuO 2 electrodes, resulting in the TMR effect as large as ~500%. These results are expanded to normal metals which can be used as a counter electrode in AFMTJs with a single antiferromagnetic layer or other elements in spintronic devices. Our work uncovers an unexplored potential of the materials with no global spin polarization for utilizing them in spintronics.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022