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  1. Abstract

    Many textbook physical effects in crystals are enabled by some specific symmetries. In contrast to such ‘apparent effects’, ‘hidden effect X’ refers to the general condition where the nominal global system symmetry would disallow the effect X, whereas the symmetry of local sectors within the crystal would enable effect X. Known examples include the hidden Rashba and/or hidden Dresselhaus spin polarization that require spin-orbit coupling, but unlike their apparent counterparts are demonstrated to exist in non-magnetic systems even in inversion-symmetric crystals. Here, we discuss hidden spin polarization effect in collinear antiferromagnets without the requirement for spin-orbit coupling (SOC). Symmetry analysis suggests that antiferromagnets hosting such effect can be classified into six types depending on the global vs local symmetry. We identify which of the possible collinear antiferromagnetic compounds will harbor such hidden polarization and validate these symmetry enabling predictions with first-principles density functional calculations for several representative compounds. This will boost the theoretical and experimental efforts in finding new spin-polarized materials.

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  2. Abstract

    Energy bands in antiferromagnets are supposed to be spin degenerate in the absence of spin–orbit coupling (SOC). Recent studies have identified formal symmetry conditions for antiferromagnetic crystals in which this degeneracy can be lifted, spin splitting,even in the vanishing SOC (i.e., non‐relativistic) limit. Materials having such symmetries could enable spin‐split antiferromagnetic spintronics without the burden of using heavy‐atom compounds. However, the symmetry conditions that involve spin and magnetic symmetry are not always effective as practical material selection filters. Furthermore, these symmetry conditions do not readily disclose trends in the magnitude and momentum dependence of the spin‐splitting energy. Here, it is shown that the formal symmetry conditions enabling spin‐split antiferromagnets can be interpreted in terms of local motif pairs, such as octahedra or tetrahedra, each carrying opposite magnetic moments. Collinear antiferromagnets with such a spin‐structure motif pair, whose components interconvert by neither translation nor spatial inversion, will show spin splitting. Such a real‐space motif‐based approach enables an easy way to identify and design materials (illustrated in real example materials) having spin splitting without the need for SOC, and offers insights into the momentum dependence and magnitude of the spin splitting.

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