The orbital composition of the electrode wave functions and the complex bands within the barrier band gap are two important factors in deciding the spin-filter effect. This is illustrated in a class of spinel oxides, including MgAl2O4, ZnAl2O4, SiMg2O4, and SiZn2O4. Through first-principles calculations of the complex bands and electron transmission along the [001] direction, they are shown to have the same Δ1 spin-filter effect as MgO due to the combination of both factors. Due to better lattice match with typical bcc magnetic electrodes than MgO, these materials provide a broad spectrum of candidate materials for magnetic tunnel junctions.

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