"Molecular spintronics using single metallocenes"

Who: Dr. Laurent Limot, Institut de Physique et de Chimie des Matériaux de Strasbourg CNRS

Place: Donostia International Physics Center. Pº Manuel Lardizabal 4, Donostia - San Sebastián

Date: Friday, 13 May 2016, 12:00

Molecular spintronics offers the unique opportunity of combining the established advantages of a spin-based electronics with specifically designed molecules, and thereby paves the way for the elaboration of new spin-dependent functionalities. One of the challenges to be faced in this field is to transpose well-known spintronic properties at the molecular level. These can consist, for example, in using a molecule to modify the spin polarization of a current, in controlling the orientation of the molecular spin through a current-driven spin-transfer torque, or in realizing magnetic remanence in a single molecule.

Here, I will present recent work devoted to metallocenes. This class of molecules ? still little explored in the context of molecular spintronics ? consists in a 3d element (Fe, Ni, Co etc.) sandwiched between two cyclopentadienyl rings (Cp). This simplified double-decker architecture makes metallocenes amenable to a variety of prototypical studies to be carried out in the junction of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM). During the talk, I will show in particular: 1) how to control the spin of a metallocene through the hybridization with a magnetic atom (a procedure also known as spin doping), 2) how to control the orientation of the molecular spin by means of spin excitations produced by inelastic tunneling electrons.  One of the strong features evidenced in the latter case is the portability of the effect, meaning that it can be produced with the metallocene placed in a variety of metallic environments. Taking advantage of this property, I?ll show that the functionalization of a STM tip with a metallocene can be used to sequentially trigger two spin excitations resulting in a large enhancement of the inelastic signal.

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