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Atomic-Scale Interfacial Magnetism in Fe/Graphene Heterojunction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Published copy (DOI)

Author(s)

  • W Q Liu
  • W Y Wang
  • J J Wang
  • F Q Wang
  • C Lu
  • F Jin
  • A Zhang
  • Q M Zhang
  • G van der Laan
  • Y B Xu
  • Q X Li
  • R Zhang

Department/unit(s)

Publication details

JournalScientific Reports
DatePublished - 6 Jul 2015
Volume5
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)1-9
Original languageEnglish

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.

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