Metallic ferromagnetism without exchange splitting

Phys. Rev. B 59, 6256 (1999).

In the band theory of ferromagnetism there is a relative shift in the position of majority and minority spin bands due to the self-consistent field due to opposite spin electrons. In the simplest realization, the Stoner model, the majority and minority spin bands are rigidly shifted with respect to each other. Here we consider models at the opposite extreme, where there is no overall shift of the energy bands. Instead, upon spin polarization one of the bands broadens relative to the other. Ferromagnetism is driven by the resulting gain in kinetic energy. A signature of this class of mechanisms is that a transfer of spectral weight in optical absorption from high to low frequencies occurs upon spin polarization. We show that such models arise from generalized tight binding models that include off-diagonal matrix elements of the Coulomb interaction. For certain parameter ranges it is also found that reentrant ferromagnetism occurs. We examine properties of these models at zero and finite temperatures, and discuss their possible relevance to real materials.