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Probing and imaging spin interactions with a magnetic single-molecule sensor



Visualization of superexchange interactions The resolution obtainable by scanning probe microscopy can be greatly enhanced by absorbing a molecule such as CO on the probe tip. Czap et al. now shows that this approach can be used to scan spin and magnetic properties of molecules on a surface. They adsorbed a magnetic molecule, Ni (cyclopentadienyl) on a silver surface, and then transferred one of these molecules to a scanning tunnel microscope tip. They could then bring the tip towards the adsorbate-coated surface and map the strength of superexchange interactions.

Science this problem p. 670

Abstract

Single magnetic atoms and molecules receive intensifying research focus because of their potential as the smallest possible memory, spintronic and qubit elements. Scanning probe microscopes used to study these systems have benefited greatly from new techniques that use molecular functionalized tips to improve spatial and spectroscopic solutions and enable new sensor functions. We demonstrate a microscopy technique using a magnetic molecule, Ni (cyclopentadienyl) adsorbed at the top of a scanning tip, to exchange interactions with another molecule adsorbed on an Ag (1

10) surface in a continuously adjustable mode in all three spatial directions. We further used the probe for image contours of interaction strength that revealed angstrom scale areas where the quantum states of two magnetic molecules strongly mix. Our results pave the way for new nanoscale imaging capabilities based on single magnetic magnetic sensors.


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