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Real-Space Imaging of Two-Dimensional Antiferromagnetism on the Atomic Scale

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Science  09 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5472, pp. 1805-1808
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5472.1805

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Abstract

A two-dimensional antiferromagnetic structure within a pseudomorphic monolayer film of chemically identical manganese atoms on tungsten(110) was observed with atomic resolution by spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy at 16 kelvin. A magnetic superstructure changes the translational symmetry of the surface lattice with respect to the chemical unit cell. It is shown, with the aid of first-principles calculations, that as a result of this, spin-polarized tunneling electrons give rise to an image corresponding to the magnetic superstructure and not to the chemical unit cell. These investigations demonstrate a powerful technique for the understanding of complicated magnetic configurations of nanomagnets and thin films engineered from ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic materials used for magnetoelectronics.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: bode{at}physnet.uni-hamburg.de

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