Spin-polarized photoelectrons from half-filled-shell atoms

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A spin-polarized beam of photoelectrons of significant intensity from a closed n s2 -subshell of a spin-aligned atom having a multielectron half-filled subshell in its ground state is predicted. The polarization results from the specific properties of a half-filled shell atom due to the unbalanced exchange interaction between spin-up and spin-down electrons in the atom, both at the independent-particle and multielectron correlation levels. This mechanism causing the preferable spin orientation of outgoing photoelectrons differs from the commonly known mechanisms yielding spin-polarized photoelectrons from atoms. Calculated results for the photoionization of the valence 4 s2 subshell of a spin-up oriented Mn (4 s2 S6) atom employing spin-polarized Hartree-Fock and random-phase approximation with exchange are presented, but the results are inherent properties of any half-filled subshell atom. The importance of electron correlation effects is emphasized. © 2007 The American Physical Society.

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Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

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