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Single spin localization and manipulation in graphene open-shell nanostructures

AuthorsLi, Jingcheng; Sanz, Sofía; Corso, Martina CSIC ORCID ; Choi, Deung-Jang; Peña, Diego; Frederiksen, Thomas; Pascual, José I.
Issue Date14-Jan-2019
PublisherSpringer Nature
CitationNature Communications 10: 200 (2019)
AbstractTurning graphene magnetic is a promising challenge to make it an active material for spintronics. Predictions state that graphene structures with specific shapes can spontaneously develop magnetism driven by Coulomb repulsion of π-electrons, but its experimental verification is demanding. Here, we report on the observation and manipulation of individual magnetic moments in graphene open-shell nanostructures on a gold surface. Using scanning tunneling spectroscopy, we detect the presence of single electron spins localized around certain zigzag sites of the carbon backbone via the Kondo effect. We find near-by spins coupled into a singlet ground state and quantify their exchange interaction via singlet-triplet inelastic electron excitations. Theoretical simulations picture how electron correlations result in spin-polarized radical states with the experimentally observed spatial distributions. Extra hydrogen atoms bound to radical sites quench their magnetic moment and switch the spin of the nanostructure in half-integer amounts. Our work demonstrates the intrinsic π-paramagnetism of graphene nanostructure
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-08060-6
Identifiersdoi: 10.1038/s41467-018-08060-6
e-issn: 2041-1723
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