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Atomic-Scale Interfacial Magnetism in Fe/Graphene Heterojunction

DOI: 10.1038/srep11911 DOI Help
PMID: 26145155 PMID Help

Authors: Wenqing Liu (York-Nanjing Joint Center for Spintronics and Nano Engineering) , W. Y. Wang (University of Science and Technology of China) , J. J. Wang (University of Science and Technology of China) , F. Q. Wang (Nanjing University) , C. Lu (University of York) , F. Jin (Renmin University of China) , A. Zhang (Renmin University of China) , Q. M. Zhang (Renmin University of China) , Gerrit Van Der Laan (Diamond Light Source) , Y. B. Xu (Nanjing University) , Q. X. Li (University of Science and Technology of China) , R. Zhang (Nanjing University)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Scientific Reports , VOL 5 , PAGES 11911

State: Published (Approved)
Published: July 2015
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 9979

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Successful spin injection into graphene makes it a competitive contender in the race to become a key material for quantum computation, or the spin-operation-based data processing and sensing. Engineering ferromagnetic metal (FM)/graphene heterojunctions is one of the most promising avenues to realise it, however, their interface magnetism remains an open question up to this day. In any proposed FM/graphene spintronic devices, the best opportunity for spin transport could only be achieved where no magnetic dead layer exists at the FM/graphene interface. Here we present a comprehensive study of the epitaxial Fe/graphene interface by means of X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) and density functional theory (DFT) calculations. The experiment has been performed using a specially designed FM1/FM2/graphene structure that to a large extent restores the realistic case of the proposed graphene-based transistors. We have quantitatively observed a reduced but still sizable magnetic moments of the epitaxial Fe ML on graphene, which is well resembled by simulations and can be attributed to the strong hybridization between the Fe 3dz2 and the C 2pz orbitals and the sp-orbital-like behavior of the Fe 3d electrons due to the presence of graphene.

Journal Keywords: XMCD; Spintronics

Subject Areas: Physics, Materials

Instruments: I10-Beamline for Advanced Dichroism