Noncollinear spin density of an adatom on a magnetic surface

Research paper by Soumyajyoti Haldar, Stefan Heinze

Indexed on: 02 Nov '18Published on: 02 Nov '18Published in: arXiv - Physics - Materials Science


We show that an individual adatom on a magnetic surface can exhibit a noncollinear spin density. Using density functional theory we study Co and Ir adatoms on a Mn monolayer on the W(110) surface which possesses a noncollinear canted spin structure. Due to hybridization with the nearest and next-nearest Mn atoms of the monolayer the spin direction of the underlying substrate is encoded into the orbitals of the adatom. This explains recent scanning tunneling microscopy experiments showing a spin sensitive shape asymmetry of adatoms [Serrate \emph{et al.}, Phys. Rev. B \textbf{93}, 125424 (2016)] which confirms the intra-atomic noncollinear magnetism of the adatoms.