Density functional study of ferromagnetism in alkali metal thin films
Electronic and magnetic structures of (1 0 0) films of K and Cs, having thicknesses of one to seven layers, are calculated within the plane-wave projector augmented wave (PAW) formalism of the density functional theory (DFT), using both local spin density approximation (LSDA) and the PW91 generalized gradient approximation (GGA). Only a six-layer Cs film is found to have a ferromagnetic (FM) state which is degenerate with a paramagnetic (PM) state within the accuracy of these calculations. These results are compared with those obtained from calculations on a finite-thickness uniform jellium model (UJM), and it is argued that within LSDA or GGA, alkali metal thin films cannot be claimed to have an FM ground state. Relevance of these results to the experiments on transition metal-doped alkali metal thin films and bulk hosts are also discussed.