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Atomic-scale spin sensing with a single molecule at the apex of a scanning tunneling microscope

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Science  01 Nov 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6465, pp. 623-627
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax8222

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Single molecules sense spin

Imaging surface magnetism, and, in particular, spin excitations of adsorbed molecules or films, is challenging. Verlhac et al. demonstrate spin-sensing capability by using the magnetic exchange interaction between a surface sample and the spin-excited states of a nickelocene molecule attached to a scanning tunneling microscope tip. The spatial dependence of the exchange field at the atomic scale enabled imaging of magnetic corrugation with atomic-scale lateral resolution for iron atoms and small islands of cobalt atoms absorbed on nonmagnetic copper surfaces.

Science, this issue p. 623

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