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Title

Spin-flip and element-sensitive electron scattering in the BiAg2 surface alloy

AuthorsSchirone, S.; Krasovskii, E. E.; Bihlmayer, G.; Piquerel, Raoul; Gambardella, Pietro; Mugarza, Aitor
Issue Date2015
PublisherAmerican Physical Society
CitationPhysical Review Letters 114(16): 166801 (2015)
AbstractHeavy metal surface alloys represent model systems to study the correlation between electron scattering, spin-orbit interaction, and atomic structure. Here, we investigate the electron scattering from the atomic steps of monolayer BiAg2 on Ag(111) using quasiparticle interference measurements and density functional theory. We find that intraband transitions between states of opposite spin projection can occur via a spin-flip backward scattering mechanism driven by the spin-orbit interaction. The spin-flip scattering amplitude depends on the chemical composition of the steps, leading to total confinement for pure Bi step edges, and considerable leakage for mixed Bi-Ag step edges. Additionally, the different localization of the occupied and unoccupied surface bands at Ag and Bi sites leads to a spatial shift of the scattering potential barrier at pure Bi step edges.
DescriptionUnder the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 (CC-BY).
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.166801
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/131842
DOI10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.166801
Identifiersdoi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.166801
issn: 0031-9007
e-issn: 1079-7114
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