Spin, atomic and inter-atomic orbital magnetism induced by 3d nanostructures deposited on transition metal surfaces

Research paper by Sascha Brinker, Manuel dos Santos Dias, Samir Lounis

Indexed on: 25 Nov '19Published on: 22 Nov '19Published in: arXiv - Physics - Mesoscopic Systems and Quantum Hall Effect


We present a first-principles study of the surface magnetism induced by Cr, Mn, Fe and Co adatoms on the (111) surfaces of Rh, Pd, Ag, Ir, Pt and Au. We first describe how the different contributions to the surface magnetism enter the magnetic stray field, with special attention paid to the induced orbital moments. Then we present results for the spin and orbital magnetic moments of the adatoms, and for the induced surface spin and orbital magnetic moments, the latter being further divided into atomic and inter-atomic contributions. We investigate how the surface magnetism is determined by the chemical nature of the elements involved, such as the filling of the magnetic d-orbitals of the adatoms and the properties of the itinerant electrons at the surface (whether they are sp- or d-like, and whether the spin-orbit interaction is relevant), and how it is modified if the magnetic adatoms are brought together to form a cluster, with Cr, Mn, Fe, and Co trimers on Pt(111) as an example. We also explore the impact of computational approximations, such as the distance between the adatom and the Pt(111) surface, or confinement effects due to the finite thickness of the slab used to model it. Our discussion of the magnetic stray field generated by a single adatom and its environment suggests a possible way of disentangling the induced surface magnetism from the adatom one, which could be feasible with scanning NV-center microscopy.