Tunneling into a Single Magnetic Atom: Spectroscopic Evidence of the Kondo Resonance

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Science  24 Apr 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5363, pp. 567-569
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5363.567

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The Kondo effect arises from the quantum mechanical interplay between the electrons of a host metal and a magnetic impurity and is predicted to result in local charge and spin variations around the magnetic impurity. A cryogenic scanning tunneling microscope was used to spatially resolve the electronic properties of individual magnetic atoms displaying the Kondo effect. Spectroscopic measurements performed on individual cobalt atoms on the surface of gold show an energetically narrow feature that is identified as the Kondo resonance—the predicted response of a Kondo impurity. Unexpected structure in the Kondo resonance is shown to arise from quantum mechanical interference between the d orbital and conduction electron channels for an electron tunneling into a magnetic atom in a metallic host.

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