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Keywords:

  • Cascade electrons;
  • Total scattering cross section;
  • Spin polarization

Abstract

The salient features of the total low energy inelastic electron scattering cross section in transition metals are described by a constant term σ0 plus a term σd that is proportional to the number of unoccupied d-orbitals. This simple model predicts that low energy electrons transmitted through a ferromagnetic ultrathin film acquire a transport spin polarization a(χ). Using the ratio σ0d as the only adjustable parameter, the model predicts the enhancement of the spin polarization of the low energy cascade electrons as well as a(χ) in reasonable agreement with the existing observations on Fe, Co and Ni. A detector for electron spin polarization P based on the spin dependent transmission of electrons through ferromagnetic material is proposed which should be superior to existing P-detectors by 1–2 orders of magnitude.