Large magnetic anisotropy of a single atomic spin embedded in a surface molecular network

Cyrus F. Hirjibehedin, Chiung-Yuan Lin, Alexander F. Otte, Markus Ternes, Christopher P. Lutz, Barbara A. Jones, Andreas J. Heinrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

441 Scopus citations

Abstract

Magnetic anisotropy allows magnets to maintain their direction of magnetization over time. Using a scanning tunneling microscope to observe spin excitations, we determined the orientation and strength of the anisotropies of individual iron and manganese atoms on a thin layer of copper nitride. The relative intensities of the inelastic tunneling processes are consistent with dipolar interactions, as seen for inelastic neutron scattering. First-principles calculations indicate that the magnetic atoms become incorporated into a polar covalent surface molecular network in the copper nitride. These structures, which provide atom-by-atom accessibility via local probes, have the potential for engineering anisotropies large enough to produce stable magnetization at low temperatures for a single atomic spin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1199-1203
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume317
Issue number5842
DOIs
StatePublished - 31 Aug 2007

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